Future Score has been scratched from the Melbourne Cup race morning in a devastating blow to the Irish horse’s connections.
Two horses were to be examined before Tuesday morning’s scratch deadline, with Delphi and Future Score both under fitness clouds.
‘NO EXCUSE’: Top jockey out of Melbourne Cup in the middle of a scandal
‘MELBOURNE CUP 2021’: Horse-by-horse guide to the big race
Both horses had problems with lameness when Racing Victoria ran mandatory veterinary tests on all 24 runners on Monday.
Delphi got it cleared Tuesday morning, but the Future Score was scratched just a minute before the deadline.
Matt Cumani’s runner was reportedly cleared in the beginning before being re-examined after the seven-year-old was found to have lameness in his front leg.
Cumani said he was bitterly disappointed with the decision and thought the Future Score was ready to run.
“Just very sad for the owners of the horse, we thought he was a better chance than 200-1, he really managed to peak for this week,” said Cumani.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure on Racing Victoria to be ultra, ultra conservative. And for them it was a real margin call, it went down to 7.29 to make the decision.
“They decided to be very careful. I can understand their point of view when they do not know a horse inside and out.”
Coach dissatisfied with the call to scrape Future Score
Cumani said the Future Score had presented itself in the same way before winning the Cranbourne Cup last year.
“For me and my vet, who know him inside and out and know he presented himself in the same way during the Cranbourne Cup, which he won convincingly, it’s a little frustrating.
“He is a horse that is consistent in his action and has ridden with that action for the past year and a half.
“Look, he was a 200-1 shot, but he was absolutely flying, he topped for that performance.”
Future Score paid $ 151 to win the big race, with not much interest from players after an overwhelming prelude.
The other 22 runners all passed fit.
English horse Spanish Mission was also under a cloud but was cleared by vets Saturday afternoon.
Incentivize will carry the weight of expectations for an Australian victory as a relieving but pronounced favorite to complete the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double.
On the line will be a series of victories that began nine starts ago under co-owner and former coach Steve Tregea – as well as boasting over the internationals.
Incentivize has been a clear favorite since winning last month’s Caulfield Cup with a show of endurance that few Australian bred horses can claim.
He is ridden by Brett Prebble, who won the race in 2014 for Lloyd Williams at Green Moon.
click here to sign up for our newsletter to get all the latest and exciting stories from Australia and around the world.