Third emergency Unchain My Heart will get a start in Saturday’s Group 1 $3m Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield following the sensational scratching of highly rated Japanese stayer Bande.
Following a dramatic day on Thursday when bookmakers put a line through high profile English stayer Dandino and locally trained Gris Caro because of leg and hoof issues, Racing Victoria Stewards were forced to withdraw Bande this morning.
Racing Victoria Chief Veterinarian Brian Stewart was asked to inspect Bande at the TAB International Horse Centre in Werribee and found the top Caulfield Cup fancy to be suffering from heat and pain in off fore tendon giving Stewards no choice but take him out of the field.
“I think that it has probably been a problem that has been a long term issue that has been effectively managed by connections, but the morning before the race it has flared up,” Stewart told Racing Ahead.
“The tendon is hot and his condition is not acceptable for any race.
“It was a very straightforward veterinary decision.
“It was very definitely a tendon and there was no point in delaying the system even longer.
“Unless there is a minor miracle I don’t think that he will be running in the Melbourne Cup.”
Following the inclusion of the first and second emergencies, the Peter Moody trained Brambles and Araldo from the Mike Moroney stables because of the scratchings of Dandino and Gris Caro, Unchain My Heart becomes the third emergency to gain a start in the richest 2400m Handicap in the world, with Stephen Baster to take the mount.
Even though co-trainer David Hayes and Tom Dabernig were happy to gain a start for the eight year old mare, the team was a little disappointed that the better performed stablemate Spillway was unable to find a place in the field.
Spillway was most unlucky when seventh to Gris Caro in the Group 3 $150,000 Jack London Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 20 so Hayes took the English import to Sydney to try to qualify for the Caulfield Cup but he could only finish ninth in the Group 1 $400,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 4.
“I took Spillway to Sydney to try and get a run in the Caulfield Cup, he would have walked in the field now,” said David Hayes told TVN.
While Unchain My Heart will have no problems running out the distance of the Caulfield Cup with seven wins on her record over 2400m and further, the Al Maher mare’s recent form is nothing out of the box with a last start ninth to Big Memory in the Group 2 $200,000 Sportingbet Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
Unchain My Heart is the outsider of the field with Ladbrokes.com.au at $201 in a market order that has been tightened up at the top end following the scratching of the second favourite Bande.
The Kris Lees trained Lucia Valentina remains the favourite but has firmed in from $4.60 to $3.80 with Japan’s remaining runner Admire Rakti now marked as the second pick at $9.50.
The Peter Moody pair of Brambles and Lidari are now marked at $10 and both are coming in for some solid support.
Junoob is the shortest priced runner of Chris Waller’s four starters at $12, just ahead of the Australian Oaks winner Rising Romance at $14.