PREMIER Broadmeadow trainer Kris Lees said the 59 kilograms given to Newcastle Gold Cup favourite Mugatoo would be "a big factor" in whether the exciting import ran at home on Friday or at Randwick on Saturday.
Mugatoo, a $2 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds to hand Lees a first Newcastle Cup, was given the second-highest weight behind stablemate Mustajeer (61kg) among 19 nominations for the $200,000 group 3 race over 2300m.
Lees said Mugatoo would likely be among dual acceptors at Newcastle and Saturday's program at Randwick from his stable on Wednesday.
Mugatoo was given 56kg in the group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) in Sydney, where Mustajeer has 55kg.
"I was really disappointed in the weights of the race," Lees said of the Newcastle Gold Cup.
"I thought they might have been scaled down a couple of kilos to what they are."
He said Mustajeer would not accept at Newcastle and instead run at Randwick. He was undecided about where Mugatoo, a last-start winner in the group 3 Premiers Cup (1900m), would go.
"It's a big factor," he said of the weight difference.
"The Kingston Town looks like it might have a touch more depth, but we'll keep our options open."
He had hoped for 59kg and 57kg for Mustajeer and Mugatoo respectively at Newcastle.
"It probably reflects the depth of the race," he said of the handicaps.
"But still, you are starting to get up in the weights, and Mugatoo is yet to prove himself.
"He's raced well beyond 2000m but he hasn't won in Australia beyond 2000m."
Lees also had Attention Run, Big Duke and Aliferous in the Cup entries.
"I'd say Attention Run is probably the definite, Big Duke is likely, they've weighted Mustajeer out of the race so he'll run in the Kingston Town and Mugatoo is the one I'm contemplating," he said. "Aliferous, we're going to see how she does. She's come back from the Gold Coast and arrived back in good order. She'll either run in the Cup or the following Saturday."
He said Miss Fabulass would run in the Cameron Handicap (1500m) on Friday. She was also nominated for the Tibbie Stakes that day for fillies and mares.
Special Reward was another likely Cameron runner after his luckless fourth in the Theo Marks Stakes on Saturday at Rosehill. Le Romain and Chief Ironside are other potential starters but Lees said they would likely be dual acceptors.
"I'm pretty sure Special Reward will back up," he said. "He's done well so he's one who will probably run in the Cameron."
Lees could also have as many as four runners in the Tibbie Stakes after nominating seven.
He said Evalina would not back up and Kedah was staying in Queensland after her last-start win at Eagle Farm, leaving Game Of Thorns, Wandabaa, Regimental Band and Stella Sea Sun as potential runners.