It surprised nobody to see Greg Carpenter tweet the following after Saturday night's action:

By STEVE MORAN (Racing Victoria)

It surprised nobody to see Greg Carpenter tweet the following after Saturday night's action: 'Green Moon's Melbourne Cup form out of the Dubai World Cup meeting: Red Cadeaux 2nd in the Dubai World Cup, Cavalryman wins Dubai Gold Cup Dunaden 4th in the Sheema Classic. Holds Up.'

I agree with Racing Victoria's chief handicapper. While it may be a 'long play' to suggest those results franked the Melbourne Cup form they certainly, at least, gave it more credibility.

Red Cadeaux's closing second to Animal Kingdom in the Dubai World Cup, with almost five lengths to third, was quite phenomenal and followed his Hong Kong International Vase win post his eighth placing in the 2012 Melbourne Cup.

It was a similar story after the 2011 Melbourne Cup with the likes of Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Lucas Cranach, Americain, Manighar and Fox Hunt (and others) registering outstanding subsequent performances.

For some time now it's been acknowledged that in order to win the Cup you have to 'beat' the same Mr Carpenter not by nefarious means but simply by having an unexposed and progressive animal who's unlikely to be burdened with much more than 54kg.

It seems to me now that you'd want to reckon that horse is progressive enough to graduate to Group 1 level.

That's how good this handicap race has become. And, me, I love handicap racing. It's the true test of greatness in my book  - to concede weight to rivals of all ages and beat them.

The classics, one of which has become an anachronism in the UK, only establish your superiority against your own age. And the level of competition in weight-for-age racing is often limited and so often tests only acceleration, not strength and stamina and resilience.

While Makybe Diva's Cox Plate win was visually spectacular, she proved her greatness - in my opinion - by wining her third Melbourne Cup with 58kg. Even if you think she was in a kilo light in that third Cup, the bottom line is that she conceded weight to every runner bar one.

Do you not think that Kingston Town's Melbourne Cup 2nd with 59kg, when arguably ridden a little too confidently, was every bit as 'great' as his Cox Plate wins?

Similarly, I'd argue Super Impose was great not because he somewhat fortuitously won a Cox Plate but because he won the mile handicaps, the Epsom and the Doncaster, in successive years with 57, 58.5, 59.5 and 61kg. That 61 is nine stone, eight pounds for the benefit of any European readers. And he ran second in a Melbourne Cup under the decent handicap of 56kg.

For these sort of reasons, I'm more inclined to look forward to the Doncaster Handicap than the Golden Slipper.