Two meetings to look at on Tuesday, with Tabcorp Park Menangle and Albion Park getting my attention. Down below is best bets for the respective programs.
High-profile Japanese import Bande has been scratched from the 2014 Caulfield Cup this morning in one of the shocks leading up to the race.
“Heat in the stallion’s tendon” has been blamed for the withdrawal, with the horse, as late as yesterday, seemingly ready to lead the Japanese assault on the spring racing season.
Bande was second favourite for the Cup, and was firming ahead of the run tomorrow, one of the few horses at single-figure odds.
The other Japanese horse set to run, topweight Admire Rakti, remains in the field.
Speculation had mounted across the week that there were problems with Bande, with stewards announcing a “precautionary inspection” was necessary on Friday morning.
Veterinarian Dr Brian Stewart, who inspected the horse, described as “quite unlikely” that Bande would race in the 2014 Melbourne Cup given his problems.
Connections of the stallion, including colourful Japanese trainer Yoshito Yahagi, haven’t made comment as yet. However, Dr Stewart said that his Japanese trainer was “adamant” the horse was fit to run.
More to follow…