After being under a cloud of doubt on the eve of the ‘Race That Stops a Nation’, the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Cavalryman has officially been scratched from the Melbourne Cup 2014 field with a leg injury.
The veteran Halling nine-year-old is one of two withdrawals from the original 24 horse line-up for today’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), the world’s richest handicap running as Flemington Race 7 at 3:00pm (AEDT) this afternoon.
Yesterday the Robert Hickmott-trained Sea Moon came out with an elevated temperature and then this morning at 7:43am connections at Godolphin decided not to risk Cavalryman after an inspection by Racing Vitoria vets.
Last night the UK raider, winner of the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) two starts back and posted at 20-1 odds at the time of his withdrawal, was found to be suffering from heat in a near fore leg.
The fetlock was still swollen this morning and his subsequent scratching leaves jockey Craig Williams, who is yet to ride a Melbourne Cup winner, without a mount in the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival’s showcase race this year.
Bin Suroor, who has four times prepared the Melbourne Cup runner-up, still has a shot at breaking his maiden status in the iconic clash saddling up Willing Foe who moves into barrier 16.
James McDonald has the ride on the Dynaformer eight-year-old, runner-up to fellow Melbourne Cup hopeful Seismos ($81) in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2700m) two back before a last start fourth behind last year’s Melbourne Cup eighth placed Brown Panther in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2800m) on September 14.
There are 10 remaining internationals in this year’s field with the best fancied of the Europeans’ being Protectionist at $8, the German stayer coming off a fourth on debut down under the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.
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