BLOOD tests this morning will determine the immediate racing plans of the south-west’s Melbourne Cup prospect Moudre after the stayer was scratched from Saturday’s Moonee Valley Cup.
Trainer Ciaron Maher revealed the seven-year-old’s white blood cell count was up on Friday, indicating he had a bug.
Maher said he wasn’t prepared to gamble by running Moudre in the $250,000 group 2 race so close to the Melbourne Cup.
The 31-year-old trainer said he was disappointed Moudre was unable to run.
“It was a real kick in the guts we had to scratch him,” he said.
“We were very confident that he would have been competitive in the Moonee Valley Cup but it would have been stupid to have run him.
“If we had run him he would not have won as he had a bug and we faced the risk of flattening him.
“We just had to rest him.
“The vets say the bug only lasts for a couple of days,”
Maher now faces the quandary of whether to run Moudre in the $250,000 Bendigo Cup (2400m) on Wednesday or go straight into the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 6.
“I’ll check Moudre out in the morning before making a decision whether to run him in the Bendigo Cup,” he said yesterday.
“He might still need a day or two to really shake off the bug.
“We’ll be dictated to by the vets in the morning.
“We might go straight into the Melbourne Cup with him.
“We’re in the lucky situation that we’re fully qualified for the cup. We’ll just wait and see.”
Moudre’s connections will part with $3850 for a second declaration in the Melbourne Cup at 10am today.
The final declaration of $49,500 must be paid by 4.30pm on Saturday for Moudre to take his place in the 24-horse field for the race that stops a nation.