A healthy penalty for Saturday’s win in the Group II Moonee Valley Gold Cup has moved The United States into contention for a place in the Melbourne Cup field.

The United States. Photo: Darryl Sherer

Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter issued The United States with a 2.5kg weight penalty. The United States will now carry 52.5kg in the Melbourne Cup.

“The United States finished too powerfully for Prince of Penzance in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and in doing so established a new course record for the 2500-metre journey of 2:34:43,” Carpenter said in a Racing Victoria statement.

“He carried 1kg less than Prince of Penzance on Saturday and the 2.5kg penalty takes him to 52.5kg, 0.5kg less than that horse is handicapped with in the Melbourne Cup.”

The additional impost is half-a-kilo more than given to Prince Of Penzance for its Moonee Valley Gold Cup win last year and 1.5kg higher than the penalty issued to Precedence in 2013.

The United States sits in 26th place in the latest Melbourne Cup order of entry after second acceptances were declared on Monday. The 24th place is currently being held down by the Chris Waller-trained Beaten Up.