Following yesterday’s reports that the Jamie Edwards-trained Sertorius was in doubt for a Melbourne Cup 2014 run after a disappointing Geelong Cup effort earlier in the week, the veteran stayer has officially been scratched from the ‘race that stops the nation’.
The seven-year-old son of Galileo has been ruled out of the remainder of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival after running a distant eighth behind Caravan Rolls On in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on Wednesday.
Third behind one-time favourite for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November, The Offer, in last season’s Sydney Cup over the two miles Sertorius underwent a veterinary examination yesterday.
Freshwater Creek-based Edwards, who co-trains with Bruce Elkington, ordered the vet check to help explain why he dropped out of the Geelong Cup.
Unhappy with the results the trainers will now send the galloper straight to the paddock, advising Racing Victoria of the move late Thursday afternoon.
The test for the aging gelding is now whether or not he can come back for another campaign during the autumn next year.
Also out of the Melbourne Cup field this week were Sangster and Zanbagh.
Former Victoria Derby winner Sangster was withdrawn from the Melbourne Cup entries having been retired from racing.
The star Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained Kiwi jarred up following a below-par 11th behind Big Memory in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 11.
The Savabeel gelding, a $19,000 bargain buy for Busuttin as an unraced two-year-old, won the Victoria Derby in Melbourne as a three-year-old back in 2011 and retired as a triple Group 1 winner having also taken out the 2013 Auckland Cup and International Stakes back home.
“He’s been racing in top-line events and Group One races ever since he won the Derby and he’s never had the best knees or joints,” Busuttin told NZ Racing Desk on Thursday.
“He came through his very unlucky run in the JRA Cup (when second to The Cleaner) super and we were confident going into the Herbert Power, but he jarred up and was sore so we elected to retire him and find him a good home.”
Zanbagh meanwhile ran third last (11th) in the Geelong Cup, the Patrick Payne-trained mare pulling up lame after the run with a bruised heel.
She was 19th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry with 52kg and her withdrawal from the world’s richest handicap helps the bid of those outside the top 24 in the ballot making the field on November 4.
Sertorius meanwhile was 17th on the Melbourne Cup ballot.
With the recent Melbourne Cup attrition rate it is now guaranteed that the James & Bart Cummings-trained Precedence will make the field.
Bart Cummings has prepared a record 12 Melbourne Cup winners and Zabeel nine-year-old Precedence is his sole chance at another win, his first since Viewed in 2008, this spring.
Precedence races on Cox Plate Day this weekend shooting for his third win in the $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m).
The latest Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are unsurprisingly led by last Saturday’s Caulfield Cup winning Japanese raider Admire Rakti ($4.80).
Precedence meanwhile is rated a $101 roughie.
To check out the updated Melbourne Cup betting markets post this week’s withdrawals head to Ladbrokes.com.au where you can enjoy Best Tote or SP + 20% on this weekend’s Moonee Valley Gold Cup!