Three top spring contenders from the Godolphin stable will miss the Melbourne Cup 2015 with trainer John O’Shea ruling out Hauraki, Magic Hurricane and Complacent from the ‘race that stops a nation’.
O’Shea still officially has five entries for this year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), running as Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 3, but has cancelled plans for three of those gallopers to head towards the two mile classic.
At $34 in all-in Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, last start Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) winner in Sydney Magic Hurricane was the shortest priced of the trio to win the world’s richest handicap.
Instead of the Melbourne Cup, O’Shea’s plans with Magic Hurricane are to run him once more during the Cup Carnival in Saturday week’s $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Derby Day with a long term aim to run in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington next March.
ATC Derby runner-up to Mongolian Khan during the autumn, the now four-year-old Reset gelding Hauraki was beaten by the same New Zealand visitor again last start when eighth just over five lengths off the winner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
O’Shea confirmed he was now being sent straight to the paddock after that unplaced run over a mile and a half, despite the galloper pulling up well from his Caulfield Cup effort.
“Hauraki pulled up great from the Caulfield Cup but he was gelded over the winter and he just took a little while to come up in the spring and it’s just the right time to stop with him,” he told Racing Victoria.
“There are just so many great options for a horse like him in the autumn.”
Authorzied stallion Complacent, second in the 2013 Victoria Derby before a lengthy stint on the sidelines, has won two of his past three starts including his latest when defeating stablemate Hauraki home in the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick.
He runs in Melbourne this Saturday at Moonee Valley Racecourse paying $19 to win the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), one of 10 races Ladbrokes have Best Tote or SP + 20% markets open on at the meeting.
Originally looking to miss a Cox Plate start, Complacent was a last minute inclusion in the 14-starter field where the Aidan O’Brien-trained Irish galloper Highland Reel is the $5 favourite.
“The Cox Plate is his grand final and I’m really pleased with him but he won’t go to the Melbourne Cup this year,” O’Shea said.
O’Shea is yet to saddle-up a Melbourne Cup runner and could still be represented this year by his $15 Cox Plate hope this weekend, Hartnell, who is ninth on the order of entry with 55.5kg.
A $21 chance in futures Melbourne Cup betting, Hartnell could be one of two Godolphin runners along with the Saeed bin Suroor-trained international Sky Hunter ($26).
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