Two of the original acceptors are set to be scratched from Saturday’s Caulfield Cup 2014 field with Gris Caro and now Dandino both confirmed non-runners due to injury.
While Jake Stephens’ Naturalism Stakes winner Gris Caro is still to undergo an official vet check by Racing Victoria stewards, his Victor Harbor-based trainer confirmed he would not be running in Saturday’s $3 million Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m).
That paves the way for the Peter Moody-trained Brambles to gain a start as the first emergency with Luke Nolen to ride the 2012 Queensland Derby winner from barrier nine which has produced more Caulfield Cup winners than any other with five since 1983.
Also out with an off front leg injury is Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock (ATB) owned European stayer Dandino, runner-up to Fawkner in last year’s Caulfield Cup.
The veteran Marco Botti-trained Dansili eight-year-old galloped well with Craig Williams in the saddle earlier in the week but has since pulled up sore with swelling.
It is a devastatingly blow to ATB and managing owner Darren Dance then with all connections of the horse crushed to discover he will miss a second, and likely last shot, at the world’s richest 2400m handicap.
“He’s lame in the near front leg and can’t possibly run on Saturday,” Dance told the Racing Network.
“We don’t know if he has knocked himself or what he has done, but he certainly won’t be able to run on Saturday.”
Dandino’s future now depends on scans scheduled on the lame leg later today, but at this stage Dance doesn’t believe he will be able to run in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November either.
“I don’t know, but experience tells me once you have an issue like this you can’t fix it quickly,” he said.
While it looks like the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is over for Dandino, Stephens is hoping Gris Caro’s bruised hoof, which could be indicative of a foot abscess, will fix itself in time for Victoria Derby Day.
In a fortnight’s time on November 1 at Flemington Stephens plans to run the With Approval six-year-old, last seen running a disappointing 12th to current $4.60 Caulfield Cup favourite Lucia Valentina, in the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) as a consolation for missing Saturday’s major.
Originally internationally performed super hoop Joao Moreira was booked to ride Gris Caro in the Caulfield Cup field.
The Hong Kong based Brazilian however won’t miss out on a ride having been confirmed as the jockey for the second emergency, the Michael Moroney-trained Araldo now in the mix.
“He’s booked to ride Araldo should the horse gain a start,” Moroney’s Racing Manager Anthony Feroce told Racing Network earlier today.
High Chaparral seven-year-old Araldo was last seen running third behind the Chris Waller-trained Junoob, a $14 chance in the Caulfield Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, in Sydney’s Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m).
He has drawn barrier 18 but will come into 15 on Caulfield Cup Day with “The Magic Man” in the saddle.
Brambles has firmed dramatically in Caulfield Cup betting from $21 to $13 while Araldo still sits as a $61 chance despite being assured of a run on just 53kg.
See below for the latest Caulfield Cup markets, prices open online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the best spring odds and offers including the $3 million Megapick!