Two meetings to look at on Thursday, with my focus at Shepparton and Redcliffe. Down below are the best bets for the respective programs.
Melbourne Cup day has again been scarred by tragedy. Regal Monarch has been euthanised after going down heavily in Race 4, the Ronald McDonald House Charities Plate.
More 2017 Melbourne Cup
» Race report: Rekindling wins
» Who came last
» Complete finishing order
» Watch video highlights replay
» Re-live the race with our live blog
» Winning trifecta and quinella
» Winning exact and first four
The horses were entering the home straight in the 2800-metre race when Regal Monarch lost footing and fell to the ground at the back of the field.
Jockey Joao Moreira, who is based in Hong Kong, was able to walk away from the incident after originally being placed in a neck brace by paramedics who immediately attended the scene.
It’s since been announced he suffered no breaks and has escaped with only a corked thigh.
The jockey was scheduled to ride in Race 6 and, more importantly, the Melbourne Cup itself, but was replaced due to injury.
Jockey Injury: 07-11-2017 Flemington R4 – No.12 Regal Monarch – Joao Moreira -out for rest of the day after fall replacement R6,R7 to come)
— RVStewards (@RVStewards) November 7, 2017
Moreira was due to ride Thomas Hobson in the Melbourne Cup, but has now been replaced by 18-year-old apprentice Ben Allen. He was the only jockey not riding the Cup who could fit the weight requirements for Thomas Hobson, with trainer Willie Mullins said Allen would be up for the race.
“Everyone has been a great help to me. We came up with two or three names and Ben Allen will ride. I’m happy with that,” Mullins said.
“He’s up for the challenge.”
Racing Victoria head vet Dr Grace Forbes said everything had been done to save the horse, but that euthanasia was the humane course of action.
“It is with sadness that we can confirm that the horse has been humanely euthanised on veterinary advice as a result of the injuries sustained. This decision was made in the best interests of the horse”, Dr Forbes said.
Regal Monarch had accrued a successful but short career, winning four races from 17 starts.
The topic of horses dying during Australia’s premier race day has become increasingly controversial in recent years. Four horses died on Melbourne Cup day between 2013 and 2015.