Update: Cavalryman has been officially scratched from the 2014 Melbourne Cup after vets confirmed that the veteran stayer had heat in his near foreleg.
Cavalryman is set to be ruled out of the 2014 Melbourne Cup at Flemington tomorrow after he was found with swelling in his near fore fetlock.
Racing Victoria revealed on Twitter that Cavalryman has been sent for x-rays by the Godolphin stable, but indicated that the veteran stayer was likely to be withdrawn from the Melbourne Cup field.
Cavalryman is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $26 and his withdrawal would leave Willing Foe as the sole Godolphin representative in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
The likely withdrawal of Cavalryman will come as a major blow to the Godolphin operation as trainer Saeed Bin Suroor was confident that the nine-year-old was in the best form of his career heading into the Melbourne Cup tomorrow.
Cavalryman started his 2014 racing season with a dominant five and a half lengths win in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (2810m) at Meydan on March 1 before he was narrowly denied by the talented Certerach in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) at the same venue on March 29.
The Halling entire returned to Europe and scored an upset win over Hillstar and Pether’s Moon in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on July 10 and he recorded back-to-back wins for just the second time in his career when he scored a tough staying win in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) on July 31.
Cavalryman was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3299m) and finished fourth behind Pale Mimosa, Estimate and Times Up, but connections remained happy with the form of the talented stayer heading into the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
“Cavalryman he won a Group 2 over a mile and a half at Newmarket, this year also the Goodwood Cup at two miles,” Bin Suroor said at the Melbourne Cup barrier draw.
“I’m really happy with him, two miles will be no problem for him, he won over the same ground and everything so-far so good.
“He travelled well here and he’s doing really good .
“He’s different this year, he runs well when he’s fresh.
“I think with the age also, he’s an eight-year-old, he’s doing really well and he’s professional now.
“He handles travelling really good and races really nicely.”
The likely scratching has not made a massive difference to the 2014 Melbourne Cup betting market with Ladbrokes and Admire Rakti ($6) remains favourite from Lucia Valentina ($7), Protectionist ($8) and Signoff ($8).