'Very sad': Melbourne Cup rocked by devastating late drama

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Future Score, pictured here being ridden by Fred W Kersley in the Cranbourne Cup.
Future Score ridden by Fred W Kersley in the Cranbourne Cup. (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Future Score has been scratched from the Melbourne Cup on race morning in a devastating blow for the Irish horse's connections.

Two horses had to be vetted before Tuesday morning's scratching deadline, with Delphi and Future Score both under fitness clouds.

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Both horses had lameness issues when Racing Victoria ran mandatory veterinary tests on all 24 runners on Monday.

Delphi was given the all-clear on Tuesday morning, however Future Score was scratched just one minute before the deadline.

Matt Cumani’s runner was reportedly cleared initially before being re-examined after the seven-year-old was found to have lameness in his off fore leg.

Cumani said he was bitterly disappointed by the decision and thought Future Score was fit to race.

"Just very sad for the owners of the horse, we thought he was a better chance than 200-1, he was really peaking for this week," Cumani said.

“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 7.29am to make the decision.

“They decided to be ultra-cautious. I can understand their point of view when they don’t know a horse inside out."

Matt Cumani, pictured here with Future Score after winning the Banjo Paterson Series Final in 2019.
Matt Cumani with Future Score after winning the Banjo Paterson Series Final in 2019. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Trainer unhappy with call to scratch Future Score

Cumani said Future Score had presented the same way before winning the Cranbourne Cup last year.

"For me and my vet, who know him inside out, and know he presented in the same way going into the Cranbourne Cup, which he won convincingly, it’s a bit frustrating.

“He is a horse that’s consistent in his action and has been racing with that action for the past year and a half.

“Look, he was a 200-1 shot, but he was absolutely flying, he was peaking for this performance.”

Future Score was paying $151 to win the great race, with not much interest from punters after an underwhelming lead-up.

The other 22 runners were all passed fit.

English horse Spanish Mission was also under a cloud but was cleared by vets on Saturday afternoon.

Incentivise will carry the weight of expectation for an Australian victory as an easing but pronounced favourite to complete the Caulfield Cup-Melbourne Cup double.

On the line will be a winning streak that began nine starts ago under part-owner and former trainer Steve Tregea - as well as bragging rights over the internationals.

Incentivise has been a clear-cut favourite since winning last month's Caulfield Cup with an exhibition of staying power few Australian-bred horses can claim.

He will be ridden by Brett Prebble who won the race in 2014 for Lloyd Williams on Green Moon.

with AAP

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