Two horses are under scrutiny on the eve of the Melbourne Cup when a mare that has beaten the odds of racing again emerged as the best chance of keeping one of the sport’s most iconic trophies on Australian soil.
Lunar Flare and Interpretation will undergo further veterinary inspections within hours of the $ 8 million run.
They will have to pass Racing Victoria’s veterinary protocols before Tuesday’s scratch deadline, but there are no such concerns about the Cup’s light flower reign.
Realm Of Flowers, a major contender in last year’s race before succumbing to injury, got support to beat England favorite Deauville Legend ($ 3.70) in the traditional Call of the Card.
While waiting for his prospects to improve to just 50kg if the race is held on a deteriorating track, Realm Of Flowers has promised to split the second betting tier for $ 10.
Realm Of Flowers, formed by Anthony and Sam Freedman, hasn’t been seen since finishing third at Randwick’s Metropolitan in early October.
She was supposed to run in the Victoria Derby match of the day but was eliminated as her chances of making the Melbourne Cup pitch improved.
“I am very happy with how he is doing. I didn’t want to run with her on Saturday and I had to take that punt and it paid off, “said Anthony Freedman.
Coach Grahame Begg is more optimistic than confident that Lunar Flare will be able to recover from a heel problem in time.
“We’re trying to get rid of the heel pain, but rest assured that if it doesn’t stand, it won’t stand up and his well-being will be paramount,” he said.
Interpretation, one of the five runners of co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, is also lame.
Ben Hayes is betting on a race in Ireland that has unearthed two of the last three overseas winners to once again have influence on the import of the Camorra.
The Camorra is a new addition to the Lindsay Park stable as the famous training operation aims for the fourth Melbourne Cup success.
Hayes’ grandfather Colin coached two winners in the 1980s and his father David won in 1994 with Young.
The Camorra arrives in Australia after completing the Irish St Leger course, but has a Curragh Cup win out of four Irish victories.
Rekindling (2018) and Twilight Payment (2020) won the Curragh Cup en route to Flemington glory and Hayes is optimistic that it will be a solid benchmark for the Camorra’s good performance.
“It’s kind of forgotten because his last run on paper looks very disappointing,” said Hayes.
“But he was on a heavy bottomless track and the jockey took care of him in the last 200 meters and the margin doesn’t reflect how he’s going.”
The hopes of owner Lloyd Williams of winning the race for the eighth time are based on only one runner, the winner of the 2020 Serpentine Epsom Derby, after Point Nepean retired.
Flemington track director Liam O’Keeffe said the weather forecast made it almost certain that the Cup would turn into an endurance test.
“If we have rain during the races, obviously the track will be heavy,” he said.