Green Moon Ruled out of 2013 Caulfield Stakes

The spring carnival plans for Green Moon have been thrown into disarray today with news the reigning Melbourne Cup winner is suffering from an elevated temperature and won’t be running in Saturday’s Caulfield Stakes 2013.

Green Moon

Green Moon has been ruled out of the 2013 Caulfield Stakes due to a virus. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

Missing a clash with odds-on favourite Atlantic Jewel in the $400,000 Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) could prove a big setback for the Lloyd Williams-owned Montjeu stallion as they were using the event as a lead-up to the Cox Plate 2013.

Just this week connections of the Robert Hickmott-trained six-year-old confirmed they would not be accepting for Saturday week’s $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).

That means Caulfield Cup weights will be raised as Green Moon was the 58kg topweight.

Instead plans were to keep them at weight-for-age for a shot at the $3 million Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley the following weekend on October 26 for which they are rated a $17 chance to win through

Green Moon missed last year’s Caulfield Cup too, a race they placed second to Southern Speed in back in 2011, in favour of the Cox Plate.

They ran a credible seventh to Ocean Park in the Cox 12 months ago, backing up at Flemington 10 days later to win the ‘race that stops a nation’ as a $20 Melbourne Cup outsider.

The Caulfield Stakes then would prove a crucial Cox Plate lead-up and guide as it features the clear $2.80 futures favourite for the WFA classic, Mark Kavanagh’s triple Group 1 winning mare.

After suffering her sole career defeat to date last start when a close second to It’s A Dundeel in the Underwood, Atlantic Jewel is now at an almost unbackable $1.28 to win her fourth Group 1 in the Caulfield Stakes.

Her rivals continue to drop off too making the task look that much more achievable.

First it was the Murray Baker-trained Underwood hero It’s A Dundeel (hoof abscess) and now Green Moon (virus).

That leaves just four rivals for the mare to defeat on the weekend, the next best in betting being her also Cox Plate-bound stablemate, Australian Cup winner Super Cool ($5.50).

Updated plans for Green Moon will depend on how quickly and well the horse overcomes this setback.

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