The Lloyd Williams owned Sea Moon is out of the 2014 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday because of an elevated temperature.
Williams notified Racing Victoria Stewards this morning that Sea Moon had developed a high temperature overnight and the English import was officially scratched from the Melbourne Cup at 7.48am Melbourne time.
“It’s bad luck. He has a very high temperature. He has obviously got something brewing there, probably got some sort of viral challenge I think,” Williams told RSN radio.
“We had a look at him at five o’clock this morning and gave him a walk to see whether the temperature might come down but it actually spiked up, unfortunate on the day.
“He has been a troublesome horse, he had very good form over in Europe, we haven’t quite seen it here in this country. He’s topped it off today by getting a high temperature and I think he will be on the sidelines for a little while.”
Sea Moon had been rated as one of the outsiders of the field at $151 with Ladbrokes.com.au but Team Williams were hoping the addition of the blinkers to the seven year old would help turn around his form.
Prepared by Williams private trainer Robert Hickmott at Mt Macedon, Sea Moon was touted as a good Melbourne Cup prospect last year before finishing thirteenth to the Gai Waterhouse trained Fiorente.
And the imported stayer has only saluted once from eight starts for the Hichmott stable with a win in the Group 2 $220,000 Sportingbet Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield prior to last year’s Melbourne Cup.
Sea Moon has had two runs leading up to this year’s big ‘two miler’ and ran a fair race when a first up fifth to Who Shot Thebarman in the Group 3 $150,000 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington on October 4.
But then after connections decided to go forward from the outside barrier in the Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 18, Sea Moon overraced in front and faded in the straight to finish at the tail of the field.
Team Williams also lost 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon to this year’s Cup because of a cracked hoof but will still be represented by last year’s Caulfield Cup winner and last start Cox Plate runner up Fawkner.
The scratching of Sea Moon leaves top Sydney jockey Tommy Berry without a Melbourne Cup ride.
Japanese stayer Admire Rakti has maintained his spot at the top of the betting at $5 since his win in the Caulfield Cup.
Caulfield Cup third placegetter Lucia Valentina, German stayer Protectionist and last Saturday’s Lexus Stakes winner Signoff all share the next line of betting at $7.50 ahead of Cox Plate runner up Fawkner at $9.50 and Irish stayer Mutual Regard at $11.