Damien Oliver will not learn whether he will race in a 32nd and final Melbourne Cup until the morning of the $8.4 million classic.
The three-time winner is sweating on the fitness of his ride Alenquer after a stone bruise was discovered following trackwork on Sunday.
The Mike Moroney-trained horse underwent another veterinary inspection on Monday morning and continues to show signs of soreness in the near forefoot, according to Racing Victoria.
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The gelding will be examined again early on Tuesday morning to decide its participation in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington before the 7.30am scratching deadline.
The remaining 23 horses will be assessed throughout Monday as part of their mandatory pre-race veterinary inspections.
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Oliver previously announced he would retire at the end of the year and came close to missing out on before booking Alenquer.
He rode Kalapour into the Melbourne Cup with a win in Saturday’s 2500m Archer Stakes at Flemington but did not rue his existing commitment with Alenquer.
“Unfortunately (Kalapour) is a bit light for me but I am happy with Alenquer. (Alenquer) ran well last time. It will be difficult for him to win but he will be better than his odds suggest.”
Damien Oliver Credit: Getty
Despite the initial injury scare Alenquer was still rated a “nine out of 10” chance to get up for the Melbourne Cup.
“He seems fine. It’s minimal,” trainer Moroney said on Monday.
“It just depends on how long the bruise takes to come out. We have 48 hours, so we will just see how we go. It’s only a bruise.”
Alenquer’s last victory was in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Gold Cup (2100m) in Ireland in May 2022 and has since gone winless in eight starts across France and Australia.
Alenquer drew barrier nine in the field of 24 for the $8m Melbourne Cup.
“It’ll be great to be a part of his fairy tale, wouldn’t it,” Moroney said after the barrier draw on Saturday.
“Don’t mind being a part of that. He’s had 31 rides and I’ve had 24 runners so we’re both seasoned.”
Moroney trained Brew to victory in the Melbourne Cup in 2000.
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