The 2013 Melbourne Cup field will be without New Zealand mare Silent Achiever after trainer Roger James was forced to withdraw her after failing to response to a leg injury.
Silent Achiever had been under treatment for a wound she sustained when eighth to Fawkner in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 19 but James was hopeful everything was okay after the mare worked strongly at Flemington on Tuesday morning.
But the O’Reilly mare, who was number nineteen in the Melbourne Cup order of entry, developed a temperature and had to be treated, ruling her out for Tuesday.
Silent Achiever’s scratching opens the door a little bit more for several runners who are on the fringe of gaining a start in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday.
Among the fringe dwellers is the Bart and James Cummings trained Precedence who will now move to twenty-eight in the order of entry with a start in the famous ‘two miler’ still looking remote with several runners looking to gain automatic entry in the Melbourne Cup if they can win on Saturday.
Precedence, who took out the Group 2 $250,000 Drake International Cup (2500m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday, is not running at Flemington on Saturday and is in danger of being leapfrogged by several runners.
The Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and the Group 3 $300,000 Lexus Stakes (2500m) provide ballot free entry into the Melbourne Cup if the winners are paid up for so far and this could prove costly for several runners sweating on a place in the final field of twenty-four.
But the connections of Irish stayer Simenon let out a sigh of relief with the six year old now moving to twenty-two in the order of entry and is guaranteed a start.
The Chris Waller trained Kelinni has moved to number twenty-four and could secure a Melbourne Cup start by winning the Lexus Stakes for the second year in a row or also be overtaken by one of the other runners vying for a position.
Trainer Peter Moody also has two border line runners with My Quest For Peace (26th) going around in the Lexus but Ibicenco (25th) will have to wait like Precedence and see if any runners fall by the wayside during the course of the day.
Mr O’Ceirin at thirty-one on the order of entry has also been ruled out but his withdrawal won’t have any effect on the final make up of the field.
The Luca Cumani trained Mount Athos has come in for some solid support and is now the $7.50 Melbourne Cup favourite ahead of the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente at $8 with the French mare Verema and Irish St Leger winner Voleuse De Coeurs sharing the next line of betting at $12.