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A number of early fancies for the 2010 Melbourne Cup Carnival have had their spring campaigns either abandoned or put in serious doubt narrowing down the list of horses still in contention for the 150th edition of the Flemington feature.
British raider Illustrious Blue is one galloper who is highly likely to miss this year’s Melbourne Cup on Tuesday November 2.
Illustrious Blue won the Goodwood Cup (3200m) back in July before running a solid fifth last start in the Lonsdale Cup.
Having been nominated for the Melbourne Cup by trainer William Knight, Illustrious Blue is now likely to stay in Europe and target the Prix du Cadran in October instead of heading Down Under.
The change of plans has to do with the long campaign the eight-year-old has already embarked on this season with Knight stating that after the Prix du Cadran he will rest Illustrious Blue, who is still at $41 odds in the Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Talented galloper Kutchinsky has also been ruled out of both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups this spring after the Tony Noonan-trained gelding went amiss.
A virus has put an end to the major spring carnival hopes of Kutchinsky, Noonan saying although he will not accept him in any Group 1 races he may still run the four-year-old Anabaa gelding in some of the lower status features if his fitness improves.
Another four-year-old who has had their Caulfield and Melbourne Cup plans abandoned is Shamoline Warrior, prepared by Mark Kavanagh who won the 2009 Melbourne Cup with Shocking.
After a successful campaign last year that saw Shamoline Warrior start as the favourite in the Victoria Derby before being scratched the morning of the race due to a high temperature, the son of Shamardal ran a disappointing first-up in the Group 2 JJ Liston Stakes this spring beating home just one other runner.
Kavanagh has now stated a mild ligament tear has him sending Shamoline Warrior for a spell in preparation for the autumn.
Also out of contention for the spring is the Mick Price-trained Predatory Pricer who has suffered a hock infection since placing second to Shoot Out in the JJ Liston that will see him miss the 2010 Cox Plate.
Or if you can’t wait till then there are plenty of great Group races planned for this Saturday with Ladbrokes.com.au providing punters with the best racing offers on them all including the $400,000 Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington that will feature many 2010 Melbourne Cup hopefuls.
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