A cracked hoof has ruled 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon out of another shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’ next Tuesday, which paves the way for Araldo to run regardless of the Lexus Stakes results this afternoon.
The Robert Hickmott-trained Green Moon was one of four current entries for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) for Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams.
Williams has celebrated four previous wins in the world’s richest handicap, most recently with Green Moon two years ago.
The now eight-year-old Montjeu stallion however has this morning been officially withdrawn from Melbourne Cup calculations.
Macedon Lodge then have two confirmed runners in the capacity 24 starter Melbourne Cup field on November 4 in last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner coming off a Cox Plate second from last weekend and outside chance Sea Moon.
Their final entry is then Amralah who is now 36th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry and running today on Victoria Derby Day in the $1 million Group 1 Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) today.
A win in the Mackinnon Stakes, for which he pays $8.50 to do as the market mover at Ladbrokes.com.au in from $13, will gain him the Melbourne Cup ballot exemption and guarantee a run.
A five-year-old son of Teofilo, Amralah is debuting down under today having won his last two starts in the UK most recently in the Group 3 Lancaster Stakes (2100m) on August 9.
In the futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $6.2 million classic, Amralah is at $26 which is set to firm right in if he gains the run with the Mackinnon Stakes results going his way this afternoon.
Stable mate Fawkner meanwhile occupies the fourth line of Melbourne Cup betting at $10 behind the Caulfield Cup winning favourite, Japan’s Admire Rakti ($4.80).
Sea Moon is then at the opposite end of the markets paying $101.
Before Green Moon’s withdrawal, the horse sitting 23rd on the order of entry was the Michael Moroney-trained Araldo.
Both he and #24 Unchain My Heart could have been pushed out of the Top 24 before Melbourne Cup final acceptances this afternoon if horses below them on the ballot won the Mackinnon or the $300,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m).
Regardless of what happens today though, Moroney’s High Chaparral seven-year-old will be there lining-up in the famous Flemington Race 7 next Tuesday on the back of a fifth in the Caulfield Cup.
Araldo is a $19 chance in the futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Unchain My Heart then is 23rd on the ballot now for David Hayes & Tom Dabernig, the eight-year-old Al Maher mare a disappointing 17th when beating home just one runner in the Caulfield Cup.
Winner of the Andrew Ramsden Stakes over the two miles at Flemington back in May, she gets the chance to atone today running in the $300,000 Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) as a $51 outsider off the Cup failure.
Chad Schofield meanwhile was booked to ride Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup but could still get mount with both the Ciaron Maher-trained Mr O’Ceirin and Au Revoir yet to have a jockey announced.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au throughout the day for all the latest on the Melbourne Cup field before its official release after the racing at Flemington this afternoon.
In the meantime this is your last chance to lock in the juicy pre-field prices on the hopefuls online now at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of next Tuesday’s $10,000,000 Megafecta!