The Melbourne Cup will be run with 23 horses on Tuesday after Future Score was scratched having showed signs of lameness on the eve of the $8m race. Future Score failed mandatory Racing Victoria inspections on Monday and was given until Tuesday morning to confirm fitness.
But the horse, one of the genuine outsiders after finishing worse than midfield in three spring appearances, again presented with lameness in his right foreleg and was scratched before the 7:30am deadline.
There was better news for Delphi, who was also lame on Cup eve but passed race morning veterinary checks.
Delphi has fallen from favour as a Cup chance after running his worst race of the spring in the Caulfield Cup. The import was well-backed to beat Incentivise at Caulfield but was the first horse beaten when 13th of 18 runners.
Damien Oliver has the ride on Delphi as the champion jockey bids to claim a fourth Melbourne Cup. Oliver is on the verge of becoming Australia’s greatest Group One-winning rider after two elite-level wins on Saturday to open this year’s Melbourne Cup carnival.
Twenty-two Cup horses were cleared to race on Monday, including the UK stayer Spanish Mission. Spanish Mission attracted additional veterinary scrutiny last week before given the all-clear to race ahead of an acceptance deadline on Saturday.
The champion horse Anthony Van Dyck was found to have been lame before running last year’s Melbourne Cup, in which he broke down and was later euthanised. The post-race findings raised questions over why the horse was allowed to run.