The 2013 Australian Cup field has been reduced to 12 runners following the scratching of Eclair Surprise this morning.
The five-year-old South Australian gelding was withdrawn from the $1 million feature after vets found him to be lame in his near foreleg.
Eclair Surprise was rated a $41 chance at bookmaker.com.au in what was to be his first start in the top grade.
The Phillip Stokes-trained galloper has won six times from 14 starts, with his biggest victory coming in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown during the Spring Carnival.
As an outside hope, Eclair Surprise’s scratching has barely impacted betting, with Green Moon still favourite at $4.
The Melbourne Cup winner will be out to add a third Flemington Group 1 to his record after also taking out the Turnbull Stakes there last spring.
Brett Prebble, who rode him in his Melbourne Cup win, is confident that his mount is the horse to beat on Saturday.
“He’s proven himself and shown his ability already,” Prebble said.
“The mail is that he’s going better than before he won the Melbourne Cup. So hopefully that’s right.”
The best-backed galloper in the Australian Cup field is Super Cool ($4.40) who has shortened from $5.50.
The three-year-old will attempt to upset the older horses and brings strong form into the race with a last-start win at Group 2 level in the Autumn Classic.
Third favourite is Mr Moet ($5.50) who was third in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes first-up and second in the Peter Young Stakes.
Other Australian Cup contenders include Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar ($8), German import Mawingo ($10), Group 1 winner Glass Harmonium ($11) and Peter Young Stakes winner Foreteller ($13).
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