Trainer Chris Waller will have only one runner the 2017 Melbourne Cup field after he was forced to scratch veteran stayer Who Shot Thebarman because of an elevated temperature.
Imported stayer Libran ($41) will now be the only Waller stable representative in the Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
Sydney’s champion trainer notified Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey this afternoon that Who Shot Thebarman had an elevated temperature and won’t be competing in his fourth Melbourne Cup and the following statement was released via twitter.
“Dear Mr Bailey,
This afternoon when returning to the stables Who Shot Thebarman presented with an elevated temperature and due to the level of elevation I have no option but to withdraw the horse from the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup.”
“It is obvious of great disappointment to the owners, my staff and I, however the welfare of the horse comes first and for that reason he must be scratched from Tuesday’s race.”
Who Shot The Barman has raced himself back into winning form with a last start victory in the Group 2 $300,000 McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) at The Valley on October 28.
Who Shot Thebarman has raced three times in Australia’s greatest race with a third placing to Protectionist at his first attempt in 2014 his best effort.
The following year the popular stayer finished eleventh to Prince Of Penzance and was then back in the minor prizemoney last year when fifth to Almandin.
The withdrawal of Who Shot Thebarman will have little effect on the betting for the 2017 Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes.com.au having him marked as a $51 chance.
Last year’s winner Almandin is a drifting $8.50 favourite and has been joined at the top of the market order by the English stayer Marmelo ahead of Humidor at $9.50 and Johannes Vermeer at $10.