There will be no New Zealand-trained runner in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.
The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Jon Snow has been ruled out of the A$6.2 million race due to injury.
General: 07-11-2017 Flemington R7 – Jon Snow -LAME near fore, will not be permitted to accept for Melbourne Cup
— RVStewards (@RVStewards) November 4, 2017
Racing Victoria (RV) stewards announced on Saturday afternoon that Jon Snow would not be permitted to accept for the Melbourne Cup because he was found to be lame.
Jon Snow, last season’s Australian Derby winner, was a $31 chance in the futures market.
* Supreme Court of NSW dismisses McDonald’s appeal
* Tough day at the office for racecaller as fog rolls in
* Bowman on Gingernuts in Emirates Stakes
* Bayliss to spend summer riding in New Zealand
* Waddell confirmed for Ever Loyal following sale
* Iconic weekend of racing another success
A dejected baker was bewildered by the decision and maintained there was nothing wrong with Jon Snow.
“He’s got a very shallow foot in his near fore, but he worked brilliantly this morning and Stephen Baster said he felt great and he’s been the same throughout his career. It doesn’t worry him when he’s warmed up.
“They said he’s two out of five lame and there’s not much you can do about it. He’s working well and racing well so there’s not much wrong with him in my opinion,” Baker told NZ Racing Desk.
The difference of opinion between Baker and RV stewards was tainted with a feeling of deja vu for both parties.
Stewards determined Jon Snow’s stablemate Bonneval was one in five lame before the running of the Caulfield Cup when Baker insisted there was no issue.
She was also found to be lame after the race where she finished a disappointing 14th.
Before Jon Snow was withdrawn, Baker told Racenet he was concerned Jon Snow would not be permitted to run.
“I don’t think they’ll let him run.
“They reckon he was two out of five lame but I don’t.
“I know the horse and he’s had this problem in New Zealand, in Sydney, scratchy, but he comes good,” Baker told Racenet.
Meanwhile, the only other Kiwi-trained runner with a chance of making the Melbourne Cup field has missed out by a frustratingly small margin.
The John Wheeler-trained Pentathlon has produced an exceptional performance in the Lexus Stakes (2500m) but has come up less than half a length short of earning a Cup start.
Pentathlon charged home from the back of the Lexus field to finish a close third behind Cismontane and Vengeur Masque.
The winner of the Lexus Stakes gains automatic entry to the Melbourne Cup.
Pentathlon, who was the outsider of the Lexus field and returned $11 a place, finished just a short neck plus a head behind Cismontane.
Besides Jon Snow, he was the only other Kiwi trainer runner with a chance of making the Cup field.
Melbourne Cup starters Humidor and Who Shot Thebarman are Kiwi owned but are trained in Australia.
Pentathlon, trained in New Plymouth by Wheeler, settled last after starting from the outside gate but ran home better than anything else in the field.
Because he was 31st in the order of entry, Pentathlon, who finished ninth in the 2016 Melbourne Cup, needed to win the Lexus to make the Melbourne Cup field.