Connections of Herbert Power Stakes winner Amralah are facing the loss of a genuine 2015 Melbourne Cup contender for next Tuesday’s ‘race that stops a nation’ after the horse was ruled out of the two mile classic.
The Team Williams-owned, Robert Hickmott-trained Teofilo stallion was sitting 19th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry and assured of a spot in the 24-starter field for this year’s edition of the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Last start the six-year-old won the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) by three lengths, defeating Excess Knowledge who franked the form with a gutsy win in Lexus Stakes on Derby Day.
While Gai Waterhouse’s Lexus winner will be there on the first Tuesday of November representing the 2013 Melbourne Cup winner in the world’s richest handicap, Amralah will be absent due to receiving negligent treatment just over a fortnight ago.
Eighteen days earlier the horse received medication that they were assured would be passed through his system in time for Melbourne Cup Day.
It has since been found that will not be the case, causing great frustration in camp Williams.
“Amralah was treated by the Ballarat Veterinary Practice and they provided treatment to the horse 18 days ago,” co-owner Lloyd Williams said in a statement.
“Connections have now been advised that the treatment provided by negligent.
“The horse is now unable to run in the Melbourne Cup.”
Amralah was considered by the bookmakers one of the top hopes to hand Williams with his fifth Melbourne Cup victory, the first since Green Moon (2012).
At the time of his withdrawal the galloper was paying $13 and occupying the fourth line of all-in Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, who have Japan’s Fame Game as the $3.80 favourite over Caulfield Cup runner-up Trip To Paris ($8) for Britain’s Ed Dunlop.
Three-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver, who last saluted on Fiorente (2013) for Waterhouse, was booked for the ride on Amralah and is now without a mount and a chance at a fourth ‘Loving Trophy’.
The removal of Amralah from Melbourne Cup contention has paved the way for The United States, a $21 hope in futures markets, to take his spot for the stable with the Hong Kong-based Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira to ride in his second Melbourne Cup.
Carrying 52.5kg after a 2.5kg, an exact weight last carried to victory by a Melbourne Cup winner in 2002 with the Irish-trained raider Media Puzzle (2002), Galileo stallion The United States was last seen winning the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day.
Final 2015 Melbourne Cup acceptances close at 4:30pm (AEST) this afternoon with the field and barrier draw released live from Flemington soon after the finish of the Derby Day racing.
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