Damien Oliver will get one last chance to win another Melbourne Cup after his mount Alenquer was passed fit to run by vets.
The horse was assessed by Racing Victoria vets at 3.30am on Tuesday morning after officials gave them until the last possible moment to make a decision.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Vets make final call on Melbourne Cup runner after late scratching.
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Just minutes before the final scratching time of 7.30am on Cup morning, news broke that the Michael Moroney-trained six-year-old was given the all clear to run.
As a precaution, however, Alenquer will be assessed again on the course prior to the race.
As late as Monday night, the horse was showing signs of soreness in the near fore foot as a result of a stone bruise.
It means Oliver has avoided an 11th-hour disappointment ahead of his final Melbourne Cup.
The 51-year-old has won the race that stops a nation three times and will get one more opportunity to do it on his $41 chance.
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Alenquer will run in the Melbourne Cup. Credit: Getty
The field had already been reduced to 23 runners on Monday after Cleveland’s scratching, but it looks set to stay at that number ahead of the 3pm race.
Speaking before the decision was made, Oliver, who is set to retire in December, said it was out of his hands.
“What will be will be. I spoke to Mike this morning, he seems pretty confident he’ll get there, who knows,” Oliver said.
“With feet it’s a day to day thing, it’s not like a tendon or a bone injury, one day they’re not so good and next day they can be OK.
Doubt had surrounded Damien Oliver’s last Melbourne Cup ride after Alenquer suffered a stone bruise. Credit: AAP/James Ross
“It’s all timing, if I’m going to have a ride I want to be riding on a fit, healthy horse, if the horse isn’t right it’s not right.
“I’ve ridden in enough Melbourne Cups to not just have a ride for the sake of having a ride, I know it’s my last, but you want the horse to be right if he’s going to go there.
“Pretty philosophical about, I’ve been in it long enough to see the ups and downs and what will be will be.”
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