Gris Caro has been removed from the 2014 Caulfield Cup field after being found with signs of lameness at trackwork this morning.
Trainer Jake Stephens was bullish about the chances of Gris Caro heading into the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) yesterday, but he advised Racing Victoria stewards this morning that the With Approval entire was lame in his off fore and after a vet inspection was ruled out of the Group 1 event that will be held at Caulfield on Saturday.
Gris Caro earnt a start in the 2014 Caulfield Cup field after recording a tough win in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 20 and his scratching is a massive blow for connections that worked tirelessly to get the five-year-old to the race and booked superstar hoop Joao Moreira to take the ride.
The withdrawal of Gris Caro means that Brambles will receive a start in the Caulfield Cup and gives OTI Racing two chances in the race after they looked like missing out altogether at the start of the week.
Brambles won the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m), Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) and Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) during the 2012 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, but he was kept out of racing for almost two years due to a tendon injury.
The Savabeel gelding returned to racing with a fourth place finish in the Listed Thoroughbred Club Cup (1440m) at Caulfield on May 3 and ran in a heat of the Winter Championship Series (1400m) at Flemington on May 24 and the Travis Harrison Cup (1600m) at Moonee Valley on June 21 before being sent for a freshen up.
Brambles returned to Group racing with an unlucky eighth in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 16 and finished second in the Listed Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes (1700m) at the same venue on August 30 before returning to winning form in the Spring Is The Season Handicap (1700m) at Flemington on September 13.
The six-year-old had his first race start at Group 1 level for over the two years in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 4 and he stamped himself as a genuine Caulfield Cup contender with a tough third place finish.
Brambles is now available at 2014 Caulfield Cup odds of $15, while stablemate Lidari is into $13.