The reigning champion Protectionist and last start The Bart Cummings winning mare Let’s Make Adeal have both officially been withdrawn from the Melbourne Cup 2015 field for the November 3 classic at Flemington Racecourse.
Entries for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), the two mile classic having a capacity 24-starter field, are now down to 79 with two horses ruled out of a shot at the world’s richest handicap this spring.
The Nigel Blackiston-trained Red Ransom mare Let’s Make Adeal was rated a $41 chance in the Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, home of Best Tote or SP + 20% on the Group 1 majors this spring, following the six-year-old’s smart win in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at the start of the month.
She was accepted to run again this weekend on Cox Plate Day in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m), but has been scratched from that and taken out of Melbourne Cup calculations due to a near fore tendon injury.
Her Flemington-based trainer Blackiston, who held a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption for her The Bart Cummings win, confirmed the season-ending injury in Twitter on Thursday morning.
“Terrible news this morning. Let’s Make Adeal has pulled up lame after work. Early signs indicate that it is her off-fore tendon,” he tweeted.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist is also set to miss the world’s richest handicap this season, ruling the now Kris Lees-trained German import out of a shot at becoming the first back-to-back champion since Makybe Diva made it three on the trot (2003-05).
A six-year-old son of Monsun, Protectionist has failed to win a race since his impressive four length Melbourne Cup success 12 months ago and has been well out of form this time in.
His latest run was last Saturday in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) where he could only manage to cross nearly 10 lengths away 15th behind the Murray Baker-trained winner Mongolian Khan.
Mongolian Khan is now rated an $8 hope in all-in Melbourne Cup odds that are led by Japan’s Fame Game ($4.60) and the Ed Dunlop-trained British raider Trip To Paris ($7.50) who ran sixth and second respectively in the Caulfield Cup.
With both Let’s Make Adeal and Protectionist having sat inside the top 24 on the Melbourne Cup order of entry at the time of their withdrawals, the horses on the cusp of a start are given more hope.
Stayers right on the border of a Melbourne Cup run in 2015 include the Roger Charlton-trained Quest For More (24th) who ran 16th in the Geelong Cup, Robert Hickmott’s Amralah (25th) who already received a two kilogram penalty for his Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) win on October 10, Irish raider Kingfisher (26th) for last year’s Cox Plate winning trainer Aidan O’Brien and the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Geelong Cup winner from Wednesday Almoonqith (27th).
2015 Melbourne Cup second acceptances close on Monday, October 26, at 10am (AEST).
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