Port Guillaume ruled out of Caulfield Cup

Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes' hopes of adding to their stable's Caulfield Cup tally have been dealt a body blow with the scratching of French import Port Guillaume on Thursday.

The northern hemisphere three-year-old had been scheduled to take his place in the field for the $5 million classic on October 17, where he was 17th in the order of entry and guaranteed a start with top Perth jockey Willie Pike booked for the ride.

Port Guillaume has been scratched from the Caulfield Cup.Credit:Getty Images

But after an examination at Werribee by Racing Victoria vets, the son of Le Havre has been withdrawn from the 2400-metre contest, the world's richest handicap over that distance.

"Unfortunately, after a second veterinary examination today, Racing Victoria have withdrawn Port Guillaume from the G1 Caulfield Cup," the Flemington and Euroa-based operation said in a statement.

"As is the case for all horses under the care of Lindsay Park, Port Guillaume's welfare is our top priority and we will be performing further diagnostic testing to determine the colt's prognosis."

Dabernig and Hayes' only other potential contender is Furrion, but as he is 73rd in the order of entry his chances of making the field are all but impossible.

Meanwhile, Aidan O'Brien's six horses have had their first workout at Werribee, despite the shadow of contaminated feed hanging over O’Brien’s European-based runners after the trainer was forced to withdraw his horses from the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last weekend.

Caulfield Cup top weight Anthony Van Dyck worked with the sprinter miler Wichita.

The two Melbourne Cup candidates, northern hemisphere three-year-olds Santiago and Tiger Moth, who were separated only by a head in the Irish Derby in June, galloped together while Cox Plate aspirants Armory, another northern hemisphere three-year-old, and the globetrotting mare Magic Wand exercised in tandem.

T.J. Comerford, O'Brien's travelling foreman and a regular visitor to Australia, said that all six had worked over 1500 metres and that he was pleased with their pipe-opening performances after they arrived at the end of last week.

"They were all very good, they were building up to this now … a step out on the grass and it all went well. It's their first piece of work. Anthony has another two pieces of work [before the Caulfield Cup on October 17]," Comerford said.

"Sunday is our next day … we will do a little bit more than again and gradually step it up from there.

"Santiago and Tiger Moth are just having their first piece of work, they have eight pieces of work, so there is seven left, for them it's just a stepping stone."

He said it was "not the intention" for Hugh Bowman, who is booked to ride 2019 Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck in the Caulfield Cup, to ride him in work in the next few days but indicated that Melbourne-based Irish rider John Allen, who has been booked for Santiago, would come to Werribee to get a feel of the horse.

"Maybe Johnny Allen might come in next week and ride Santiago and hopefully Johnny will ride him in all his work up to the Melbourne Cup if it suits."

Most Viewed in Sport

Source: Read Full Article