A further two stayers have come out of the 2016 Caulfield Cup field ahead of the $3.15 million feature running in Melbourne this afternoon with the Mick Price-trained Tarzino and the Ciaron Maher-trained Set Square both scratched.
Earlier in the week the Tony McEvoy-trained Big Memory (swollen hock) and Fanatic (spider bite) were withdrawn from an original capacity field for the Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m).
The two emergencies – De Little Engine and Vengeur Masque – both gained a start.
The subsequent scratching of last year’s Victoria Derby winner Tarzino (4) and 2014 Crown Oaks winner Set Square (20) leaves just 16 Caulfield Cup horses in contention.
Four-year-old Tarzino and five-year-old Set Square were officially scratched this morning on veterinary advice.
Tarzino, who was to be ridden by Craig Newitt, was found to be suffering from swelling in his front left leg on Friday night and his withdrawal means Price is still yet to saddle-up a Caulfield Cup starter.
Stewards found Reset mare Set Square was stepping short behind and was scratched just before the 7:30am (AEDT) scratching deadline leaving apprentice Michael Dee without a ride in the world’s richest mile and a half handicap.
Maher still has dual representation in the race shooting for his first Caulfield Cup trophy with the clear favourite Jameka ($3.70) and Pemberley ($41) who are at opposite ends of betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
It is the first time since 2008 when All The Good beat home 16 rivals that the Caulfield Cup field has not run at its capacity of 18 runners.
The last 16-starter Caulfield Cup meanwhile was the previous year in 2007 when the late scratching of Maldivian and Eskimo Queen at the barriers left the eventual winner Master O’Reilly with just 15 rivals to beat home for trainer Danny O’Brien.
This year O’Brien saddles-up the first emergency De Little Engine, a $51 outsider in the updated Caulfield Cup odds.
Myboycharlie four-year-old Jameka is out to make history with her win for the punters this afternoon and if successful will be the shortest-priced winning Caulfield Cup mare since Leilani ($3.25 in 1974).
He biggest danger according to the bookies, aside from the history books, include the Charlie Appleby-trained English raider Scottish ($7) who moves into last year’s winning barrier (6) and the Darren Weir-trained JRA Cup winning mare Real Love ($7).
With the scratchings Real Love has been bumped into the most successful Caulfield Cup barrier in the past 30 years – nine – and is out to be the first to win from the alley since Railings (2005).
She has dual Caulfield Cup winning jockey Craig Williams in the saddle, while the 2013 winning rider Nicholas Hall (Fawkner) rides Jameka from 11.
See below for the updated Caulfield Cup 2016 odds, pricing provided by Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Enhanced Odds (T&Cs apply).