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French raider Loresho is the latest international Melbourne Cup 2015 entry to be withdrawn from this year’s edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Connections of the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained stallion paid the $5,500 late entry last week to get their Halling five-year-old in the mix for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Already though the November 3 classic at Flemington Racecourse is off the agenda after Loresho suffered a strained tendon that sees the HH The Aga Khan-owned stayer needing a stint in rehabilitation.
A winner of five of his 11 starts to date, Loresho took out the Group 3 Prix De Reux (2500m) in early August before a last start third to Siljan’s Saga in the Group 2 Lucien Barriere (2500m) on a Heavy-rated track at the end of last month.
Melbourne Cup weights were released on Tuesday by Racing Victoria’s Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter and at the time of his withdrawal Loresho was allocated a 52kg light weight.
In futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au had Loresho as a $51 chance, the all-in markets for the world’s richest handicap firmly led by Japan’s Fame Game at $8.
The other recent international ruled out of the Melbourne Cup was the ill-fated Brown Panther, winner of the Dubai Gold Cup back in March and runner-up to Snow Sky in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup (2816m) in mid-May, who broke down and was sadly euthanased when defending his Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) title at the Curragh last week.
Brown Panther contested the 2013 Melbourne Cup and finished eighth before missing last year’s race in favour of a run in the Group 1 Breeder’s Cup (2414m) in the USA where he ran a failed 11th beating home just one other runner.
Yoshitada Munakata’s Heart’s Cry six-year-old Fame Game meanwhile was last seen carrying 58kg from barrier 14 of 17 into a brave second beaten just a quarter length by Japanese champion Gold Ship in the Group 1 Tenno Sho (3200m) over the same distance as the Melbourne Cup back in early May.
Japan’s last Melbourne Cup winner was Delta Blues (2006) who ran the quinella defeating stablemate Pop Rock nine years ago.
Fame Game is allocated 57kg in the Melbourne Cup handicaps this spring, a weight no champion has carried to victory in over 30 years.
The next best in betting is then another international, Max Dynamite ($15) prepared by Irish trainer William Mullins.
Mullins has had two previous Melbourne Cup runners over the years but is yet to prepare a placegetter in the two mile classic.
Great Journey gelding Max Dynamite was last seen winning the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3300m) at York on August 21 with 58.5kg on his back, and is allocated a very manageable 55kg for his Melbourne Cup bid – a weight Fiorente carried to victory in 2013 for trainer Gai Waterhouse.
Other internationals high up the all-in Melbourne Cup betting markets include another Japanese hopeful Hokko Brave ($17) allocated 55.5kg, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Snow Sky ($17) who is equal 58kg top weight with last year’s winner Protectionist, and the Aidan O’Brien-trained stablemates Bondi Beach ($21) and Order Of St George ($21).
O’Brien has a total of four Melbourne Cup entries and hasn’t had a runner in the race since 2008.
Galileo four-year-old Bondi Beach (52.5kg) shot up the markets after winning the Group 1 Doncaster St Leger (2917m) on September 12 while the flying fellow Galileo stallion Order Of St George (54kg) has won his past three on the trot including the Irish St Leger in which Brown Panther broke down in.
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