Several rival trainers will be sweating on the fitness of Kiwi stayer Jon Snow who is under an injury cloud for the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
Prominent Kiwi training partnership of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman will be hoping that their Melbourne Cup hope Jon Snow will pass another vet’s check after Racing Victoria Vets weren’t happy with the fitness of the four year old after some heat was detected in his front feet.
Jon Snow will be inspected again prior to today’s 5pm deadline for the final acceptances for the Melbourne Cup and a report will be submitted to the VRC Committee.
If John Snow isn’t passed fit to take his place in ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’, The Willie Mullins trained Irish stayer Thomas Hobson will move up to twenty-three in the Melbourne Cup order of entry with the Lindsay Park trained Harlem gaining the final spot at number twenty-four.
Harlem has been passed fit to start in today’s Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington and a win will secure his spot in the Melbourne Cup.
But Harlem is one of eight of the ten Lexus Stakes runners that could leapfrog into the final twenty-four horse Melbourne Cup field by gaining a ballot exemption by winning the Lexus Stakes.
Jon Snow is currently marked at $51 for the Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au and is coming off a last start ninth to Boom Time in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21.
The Iffraaj stallion was the winner of the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick during the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival and returned to Australia in the Spring to win the Group 3 $200,000 MSC Signs JRA Cup (2040m) at The Valley on September 29.
Jon Snow then ran third to Gailo Chop in the Group 1 $1m Ladbrokes Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 14 before missing a place in the Caulfield Cup.
Early betting for the 2017 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6.50 Almandin, $8 Marmelo, $9 Humidor, $11 Johannes Vermeer, Red Cardinal, Wall Of Fire, $15 Rekindling, Max Dynamite, $17 Thomas Hobson, $21 Big Duke, Tiberian, $26 Hartnell, Amelie’s Star, Nakeeta, Boom Time, $34 Single Gaze, Bondi Beach, Ventura Storm, $41 Harlem, Who Shot Thebarman, US Army Ranger, $51 Jon Snow, Wicklow Brave, $61 or better the rest.