The 2013 Melbourne Cup attrition rate is starting with a number of horses already ruled out or in doubt before today’s second acceptances including one time favourite Puissance De Lune.
Darren Weir’s Shamardal grey had been top of the odds for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), run at Flemington on Tuesday November 2, after a massive effort in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at the track last Cup Carnival.
They had been easing in the markets this time in however, before drifting from $11 right out to $26 in the Melbourne Cup odds after their disappointing 12th beating home just two other runners in Saturday’s $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) won by maiden Shamus Award.
News the six-year-old had pulled up from the Cox Plate, where they were over 10 lengths off the upset winner, lame followed and the update is Puissance De Lune will not be among the 24-horse Melbourne Cup final field.
A Monday morning check at the Ballarat Veterinary Clinic on their off foreleg determined the extent of the damage to the stallion, and whether they will return in the autumn or immediately retired to stud will be announced by connections shortly.
“He will not run in the Melbourne Cup, if he ever runs again,” owner Gerry Harvey told the Herald Sun on Sunday.
“But there is always a stud career.
“That’s racing. You move on. I am just really fortunate that a Bendigo Cup winner has gone on to do so well and give me a lot of thrills.”
Beaten Cox Plate favourite It’s A Dundeel meanwhile has officially been ruled out of a Melbourne Cup acceptance, the five-time Group 1 winning New Zealander having run a luckless eighth in the weekend’s weight-for-age classic.
The Murray Baker-trained High Chaparral stallion endured a disastrous Cox Plate run trapped three-wide throughout and unable to put themselves into the race.
“He just got caught three wide from the start and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Baker said in the Cox Plate wrap-up.
“He’s not going to win with a run like that.”
Ruling out the horse’s hoof abscess in the lead-up to the Plate for their disappointing finish, Baker confirmed they would be sent to the paddock back home in New Zealand on Thursday with Melbourne Cup plans abandoned.
2013 Melbourne Cup second acceptances close at 10:00am (AEST) this morning and will be published on Races.com.au soon after so stay tuned.
In the meantime gear up for a Melbourne Cup punt by opening your account with the country’s premier online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au who will be offering double the fixed win odds on the Melbourne Cup final field from Saturday.