News on Friday confirmed that the Roger James-trained former New Zealand Derby winner Silent Achiever was out of the Melbourne Cup 2013 field and would not be among the final acceptors taken this afternoon.
Having sat 19th on the order of entry for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington next Tuesday, November 2, the withdrawal of James’ Kiwi-based mare has paved the way for Irish raider Simenon to secure their start.
William Mullins’ Marju seven-year-old Simenon was 23rd on the Melbourne Cup ballot.
They weren’t yet assured of a start in the capacity 24-horse Melbourne Cup final field however with the chance for two Victoria Derby Day winners, of the Mackinnon and the Lexus, to earn a ballot exemption for the ‘race that stops a nation’ and push Simenon out of contention.
O’Reilly mare Silent Achiever, runner-up in The BMW during the autumn, was last seen running just two and a half lengths away eighth to Fawkner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
It looked a lovely Melbourne Cup lead-up for the five-year-old too.
However Silent Achiever suffered a number of cuts to her hind legs during their Caulfield Cup run, and having had 11 stitches put in, they are out of Melbourne Cup 2013 contention.
Racing Victoria stewards who examined the top 35 horses in the order of entry gave connections one last chance ordering a re-examination for Derby Day.
James however opted to voluntarily pull the pin on Melbourne Cup plans after Silent Achiever had a temperature on Friday afternoon.
Horse number 24 on the order of entry before Silent Achiever’s withdrawal, the Adam Durrant-trained Mr Moet, is another possible non-acceptor for the Cup field this afternoon.
They run in the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Derby Day, but even with a win, could head home to Perth instead to defend their title in the $1 million Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) on November 23.
The Lexus Stakes results from this afternoon have also affected things with the Ed Walker-trained Ruscello, a $151 Melbourne Cup roughie sitting equal 43rd, earning a ballot free ride into the world’s richest handicap with their upset win.
That has made the chance of the ‘Cup’s King’ Bart Cummings’ possible 88th Melbourne Cup starter Precedence much harder as they were 29th on the order of entry before Silent Achiever came out, and before the Lexus Stakes result.
They need a notably high attrition rate to make the cut and give their veteran trainer, who now co-trains with grandson James, a shot at a 13th Melbourne Cup winner.
Melbourne Cup final acceptances close at 4:30pm (AEST) this afternoon with the official field and barrier draw to be conducted after the Derby Day racing action.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the action and the latest Melbourne Cup news.
In the meantime get ready to get your bets down on the famous Flemington Race 7 next Tuesday by signing up with Ladbrokes.com.au who will be offering double the odds on the Cup from this afternoon!