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November 4, 2013

Extraordinary! He’s back!”
That’s how one punter summed it up as Bart Cummings’ last hope for a Melbourne Cup start, Precedence (NZ) (Zabeel), powered home to win the Group Two Moonee Valley Gold Cup yesterday. The legendary Cups king has won the Melbourne Cup twelve times and Precedence is his only chance this year for more glory – and the first with his grandson James.
Before the win, Precedence, set to carry 52kg, was 44th in the order of entry for the Melbourne Cup and his chances of running now depend on chief handicapper Greg Carpenter, who will announce any weight penalty on Monday.
With Craig Williams on board, Precedence – fourth favourite in the eight-horse line-up after easing from $6 to $7.50 – ran a commanding race, happy to sit in the back half of the field. Williams made his move at the home turn of the 2500 metre race, steering the eight-year-old gelding to the front and moving away from the pack despite a charge from lightweight Shoreham (Reset). His winning margin was a
dominant 1½ lengths with nine-year-old Gotta Take Care (Rubiton) another 1½ lengths away in third.
Williams was in no doubt about Precedence lining up for
what would be his fourth Melbourne Cup. “He’s a big chance, without a doubt,” Williams said. “He’s got the Bart Cummings factor and it would be great for the 2013 Melbourne Cup if Bart Cummings and James Cummings had a runner.”
James said his grandfather would make the trip from Sydney for the race if Precedence was given a penalty that would get him into the Cup. “We’ll be more than happy to take them on,” he said. “Precedence has got a zest for it and he’s got some unfinished business. “He’s by Zabeel and it’s a great pedigree for horses that go better with age.”
Carpenter said the cut-off for the Cup would be around 53kg to 53.5kg.
He said if Precedence was given a one kilo penalty he would still be vulnerable in the ballot and would need horses above him to not accept. – AAP TURF
Story from NZTM News