Clarry Conners’ Dear Demi is the latest 2014 Caulfield Cup casualty after being scratched from the race at 2pm due to a throat infection.
The five-year-old mare was showing signs of an infection on Thursday but her condition worsened overnight, forcing Conners to make the tough decision.
“She had a little bit of a cough, we treated her and thought she might come good but she hasn’t improved,” the trainer said via TVN.
“If anything she has got worse today.
“I had the stable vet look over her and Singo’s (John Singleton’s) vet came and looked at her too and we all agreed that realistically she shouldn’t run.”
Conners was looking forward to another strong performance from Dear Demi, who came third in last year’s Caulfield Cup. She looked ready to improve her standing, getting a better start from barrier 13 (18 last year) and was coming off a Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) win and fast-finishing seventh in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) against the boys.
“It is disappointing because a lot of work has gone in to getting to this point,” Conners continued.
“Many, many man hours and then you have something like this happen 24 hours out from the race.
“If she comes through the next couple of days okay and doesn’t miss too much work we would like to run in the Mackinnon Stakes.
Dear Demi’s scratching means all four emergencies have now gained a run in the $3 million Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m), with Renew the last one waiting for a place.
The gelding was second-last last time out in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) but did start from the widest barrier. He eventually got the outside lead and did a lot of work but just battled too late.
He won’t have the same struggle in the Caulfield Cup, as he’ll start from the ideally low gate two with boom apprentice Regan Bayliss to ride. Less than 15 months into his riding career, this will undoubtedly be the highlight of his career.
If you think the gelding can cause an upset in the $3 million feature race, now’s the time to back him. Ladbrokes.com.au is offering massive odds of $201 for Renew to bring home the win.
The 2014 Caulfield Cup field has gone through a number of changes over the last 24 hours. Dandino and Gris Caro were scratched due to injury on Thursday while Bande was shockingly withdrawn Friday morning after failing a Racing Victoria vet examination.
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