A bout of colic has ruled out the chance of Murray Baker’s star New Zealand Mongolian Khan to back up from a Caulfield Cup win and shoot for the Spring Cups double in next Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup 2015.
The four-year-old Holy Roman Emperor stallion was third favourite at single figures in the all-in odds to take out the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3, but will miss the two mile classic due to illness.
Out to complete the Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double for the first time since another Kiwi Ethereal (2001), Mongolian Khan enjoyed a half-length win in the former over British raider Trip To Paris on October 17.
He was looking on track for a shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’, but on Thursday morning was officially withdrawn from the Melbourne Cup field after failing a vets’ assessment at Werribee.
Boasting over $3.87 million in prize money to date, Mongolian Khan is a triple Group 1 winner having also taken out the NZ Derby at home as a three-year-old before his ATC Derby win at Randwick in early April.
He eased out notably in the futures Melbourne Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are giving away a 2015 Ford Ranger to one lucky Melbourne Cup punter this spring, after news of his illness broke.
Sitting number one of the Melbourne Cup order of entry, his withdrawal sees Sertorius move to 23rd and Moonee Valley Gold Cup winner The United States to 24th for the capacity 24-starter line-up in Flemington Race 7 next Tuesday.
Both the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) and the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on Victoria Derby Day this Saturday offer a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption to the winner, which could push those horses outside the Melbourne Cup starting line-up.
Sitting 17th and 19th respectively on the Melbourne Cup ballot, the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Sky Hunter and Roger Charlton’s fellow English visitor Quest For More both also need a veterinary assessment leading up to the world’s richest handicap.
Motivator gelding Sky Hunter has apparently suffered a bruised heel on his left foreleg, while Thursday saw Goodwood Cup runner-up Quest For More cast his left fore plate.
Melbourne Cup final declarations close at 4:30pm (AEST) on Saturday and both Sky Hunter and Quest For More, who pay $26 and $51 respectively in futures Melbourne Cup betting, will be assessed before the cut off for acceptances.
Sixth in the Caulfield Cup, Japan’s Fame Game is clear $4 favourite to win the Melbourne Cup joining Delta Blues (2006) as the only Japanese-trained raiders to succeed in the famous Flemington feature.
Allocated 57kg for Tuesday, the Heart’s Cry stallion has winning form up to 3400m and was second to Gold Ship in the Group 1 Tenno Sho (3200m) before his debut down under.
Caulfield Cup runner-up Trip To Paris is currently the only other single figure hope, the Champs Elysees gelding prepared by Ed Dunlop who has prepared Red Cadeaux for his three Melbourne Cup seconds over the past four years.
The other most notable omission from the Melbourne Cup entries this week is Beaten Up, Chris Waller’s former Doomben Cup champ bypassing the race to instead target the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2600m) on Emirates Stakes Day.
To check up the updated Melbourne Cup betting markets visit Ladbrokes.com.au now who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the opening four races at Flemington on Cup Day!