Red Cadeaux will get another crack at the Melbourne Cup.
Red Cadeaux will get another crack at the Melbourne Cup. JULIAN Smithaap

Playing the weighting game on The United States

Outspoken part-owner Nick Williams almost got his wish when his imported stayer The United States was given a 2.5kg penalty for the Melbourne Cup following his Moonee Valley Cup win at the weekend.

Williams had urged VRC handicapper Greg Carpenter to give his Galileo six year-old a 3kg penalty to guarantee him a start in the race that stops a nation next Tuesday.

The penalty took the horse's Cup weight to 52.5kg and moved him to number 26 in the order of entry after the owners of 42 horses paid the $4620 second acceptance fee.

With the winners of this Saturday's Lexus Stakes and McKinnon Stakes both qualifying for the Cup, The United States may have to rely on running in the Lexus and winning it to secure a run in the 24-strong field.

Not surprisingly, connections of several qualified horses that had been in the frame for the Cup for some months failed to pay up.

The owners of 2014 VRC Oaks winner Set Square, last year's Caulfield Cup runner-up Rising Romance, Hauraki, Gallante and Magicool all elected not to pay the second acceptance fee and are now out of contention.

That means recent Herbert Power Stakes winner Amralah (20th) and track record-breaking Geelong Cup winner Almoonqith (22nd) have moved into Cup calculations, regardless of what happens at Flemington on Saturday.

Meanwhile Ed Dunlop's grand old stayer Red Cadeaux is 12th in the order of entry and will head to the post next Tuesday for his fifth tilt at the Cup.

The Dunlop stable will have two bites at the race this year, with Red Cadeaux - which ran 2nd in 2011, 2013 and 2014 - to be joined by Trip To Paris which ran a cracking Cup trial when second to Mongolian Khan in the Caulfield Cup (2400m).

Stable assistant Robin Trevor-Jones said Red Cadeaux was in great shape for his latest Cup assault.

"He's feeling good. His back is good, he just reaches too far and he catches under those pads," said Trevor-Jones, explaining the nine-year-old's habit of pulling a shoe.

"But he has to wear the pads because he has such big flat feet."

The English gallopers have been based at Werribee and turned in pleasing track work last Thursday.

They will have their final Cup gallops on Thursday after which Red Cadeaux will be fitted with his special aluminium Cup shoes.

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