Last year’s winner Protectionist and the ballot-exempt Let’s Make Adeal have both been ruled out of the 2015 Melbourne Cup that will be held at Flemington on November 3.
Protectionist produced an outstanding staying performance to take out the Melbourne Cup in 2014, but he has been unable to reproduce that sort of form since and he was unplaced in four race starts during his autumn campaign before he started his spring preparation with three flat efforts.
The Monsun entire loomed up at the top of the straight in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) last Saturday and he looked as though he could be a factor in the finish, but he tired in the final stages of the race to finish 15th.
Protectionist pulled up sore following the Caulfield Cup and trainer Kris Lees confirmed this morning that the German import was suffering from bone bruising on his hind legs and would require a lengthy stint in the spelling paddock, which rules out a defence of his Melbourne Cup title.
“Protectionist is out of the Melbourne Cup, he won’t race again this spring and needs a six month spell,” Lees said in a statement.
“It is disappointing.”
Lees was not the only trainer disappointed this morning as Nigel Blackiston was forced to confirm the heartbreaking news that Let’s Make Adeal would miss the Melbourne Cup after she pulled up lame following track work.
Let’s Make Adeal narrowly missed out on a place in the Melbourne Cup in both 2013 and 2014, but she secured a place in the 2015 edition of ‘the race that stops a nation’ when she recorded an impressive victory in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington on October 4.
The Granddaughter of 1991 Melbourne Cup winner Let’s Elope was set to have her final Melbourne Cup lead-up run in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m), but she pulled up sore following track work this morning and Blackiston revealed on Twitter that it looks as though Let’s Make Adeal had suffered a tendon injury.
Terrible news this morning,” Blackiston said.
“Let’s Make Adeal has pulled up lame after work.
“Early signs indicate that it is her off-fore tendon.
“On behalf of (owner) Dennis Marks & myself, thank you to everyone’s support with our mare and thanks to our staff for their work.”
The withdrawals of Protectionist and Let’s Make Adeal removes two more horses from the Melbourne Cup order of entry and it means that Herbert Power Stakes winner Amralah is now all but certain to earn a start in the Group 1 event.
Fame Game is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $4.60 with Ladbrokes and he is a clear favourite from Mongolian Khan ($7.50), Trip To Paris ($7.50), Preferment ($10) and Who Shot Thebarman ($13).