CT scan rules leading contender out of 2021 Melbourne Cup

The mandatory CT scans of all Melbourne Cup runners has claimed the Danny O’Brien stables hope Young Werther.

The four-year-old, who had been aimed at the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 2, was not among the remaining 35 horses after fourth acceptances closed on Monday.

The O’Brien stable posted on social media there was an area of concern in Young Werther’s CT scan.

“Young Werther’s CT scan has highlighted an area of concern & he will not be running in the Melb Cup. It’s disappointing news, but we fully support the RVL protocols. We are grateful that an issue has been found early & we can reset for next year,” the tweet from Danny O’Brien Racing read.

Mandatory CT scans for all Melbourne Cup were ordered after a review into last year’s death of Anthony Van Dyck in Australia’s most famous race.

Incentivise remains in the hunt for the coveted trophy as do three international raiders Twilight Payment (Joseph O’Brien), Spanish Mission (Andrew Balding) and Away He Goes (I Mohammed) who are all safely in the field.

Sir Lucan, who travelled out with that trio but will run as a local for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, currently holds the final spot in the safety limit of 24 but can be knocked out if the winner of Saturday’s Group 3 Hotham Handicap (2500m) is in the Melbourne Cup field.

Cox Plate minor placegetter Verry Elleegant, one of a quartet of acceptors for Chris Waller, joins stablemates, Sydney Cup winner Selino and Auckland Cup winner Ocean Billy in the field while Great House (26th) will be reliant on attrition or a ballot exemption in order to gain a start.

The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stable has Grand Promenade, Explosive Jack and Persan safely in the field while Floating Artist could join them if successful in the Hotham Handicap.

Forgot You could become the first three-year-old to contest the Melbourne Cup since 2001 if successful in Saturday’s Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington while Geelong Cup winner Tralee Rose has moved to 17th in the ballot order following Monday’s round of acceptances.

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