Green Moon has been withdrawn from the 2014 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday due to a cracked hoof.
Green Moon appeared on track to contest the Melbourne Cup for the third year in a row after winning the 2012 edition of the race and finishing a disappointing 21st behind Fiorente last year, but the Macedon Lodge Team of Lloyd Williams told Racing Victoria Stewards this morning that the Montjeu entire would not be included in the acceptances for ‘the race that stops a nation’.
The imported stayer has not recorded a race win since his impressive victory in the 2012 Melbourne Cup, but he returned to his best form during the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival and finished a close fourth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 22, a gallant second behind Fiorente in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8 and seventh in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 19.
Green Moon started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a credible sixth place finish in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13, but he failed to fire in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 before he finished a credible ninth in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.
The withdrawal of Green Moon means that Araldo is assured of a place in the 2014 Melbourne Cup field, while veteran mare Unchain My Heart moves to number 23 in the Melbourne Cup order of entry, but is still not certain to earn a start in the $6 million race.
Unchain My Heart could be leapfrogged by the winner of the Lexus Stakes, unless the race is taken out by More Than Sacred who is not in the Melbourne Cup entries, and Lloyd Williams-owned Amralah will earn a start in the race if he is able to finish in the placings in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) this afternoon.
Jockey Chad Schofield was booked to ride Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup, but he could still pick up a ride in the $6 million event as Ciaron Maher-trained Mr O’Ceirin and Moonee Valley Gold Cup placegetter Au Revoir are both without a rider for the race.
Admire Rakti ($4.80) remains a clear favourite in 2014 Melbourne Cup betting from Lucia Valentina ($7), Protectionist ($7.50), Fawkner ($10) and Mutual Regard ($11).