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Morrison 'utterly appalled' as vets rule Marmelo out of Melbourne Cup bid.

Byline: Jack Haynes in Melbourne

HUGHIE MorrIson was yesterday "utterly appalled" by the controversial decision by racing Victoria stewards to withdraw last year's Melbourne Cup second Marmelo from tuesday's renewal of australia's most prestigious race.

the Charlie appleby-trained Ispolini was also taken out of the a$8m (PS4.3m/€4.8m) showpiece after scans ordered by racing Victoria vets showed signs of injury.

Morrison refutes the findings of the governing body for Victoria racing, which along with the university of Melbourne and state government invested a$1.27m (PS680,000/€780,000) in buying a standing Ct scanner at the university's Werribee equine clinic.

a racing Victoria statement read: "the results of the standing Ct scan of Marmelo indicated an incomplete fracture in the horse's near-fore cannonbone and an incomplete fracture in its off-hind cannonbone."

racing Victoria vets felt both horses initially showed signs of soreness with the Ct scanner also used on Ispolini, who on tuesday was sent to Ballarat equine clinic for further testing, and last year's winner Cross Counter, who was passed suitable to continue his preparation.

the results of Ispolini's standing Ct scan indicated pre-fracture pathology within the horse's cannonbone according to racing Victoria stewards.

Morrison said: "We love coming here and the whole build-up, but we're absolutely shocked by this. It's a terribly sad situation which should not have occurred.

"the technology has been there for only six weeks and the conclusions drawn are completely different to the analysis and report done by the worldrenowned and very eminent Dr Ian Wright at newmarket, who has been dealing with Ct scanners for years.

"He has viewed the scans and categorically said it is totally unjustifiable for this horse not to run in the Melbourne Cup. We love australia but this is utterly appalling."

Morrison saw his five-time Grouprace scorer take in a swinging canter over a mile upsides raymond tusk on tuesday followed by a hack and trot out on the Werribee track yesterday.

the Berkshire trainer, who is looking to appeal, said: "It's nothing to do with a fracture or incomplete fracture, it is bone remodelling. they're justifying this machine and the vast expense by attacking us."

He added to the Herald sun: "the reason I was so confident he would pass was I had reports from two vets who said there was no problem. You could think we're being used as a guinea pig."

racing Victoria stewards received a veterinary report for Marmelo and Ispolini advising they would not be fit to compete in the race if it was held on the final day of acceptances - saturday - as stated in the race conditions.

Morrison told the age: "We're not a stable that medicates our horses much and they have a reputation for soundness. I'm the trainer who has sent out the oldest winner of a Group 1 race in europe - a ten-year-old - so there's no way I would want to run Marmelo if there was anything even slightly amiss."

Marmelo and Ispolini were general 14-1 chances for the Flemington feature, for which red Galileo was also ruled out yesterday morning after pulling up lame following trackwork.

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Author:Jack Haynes in Melbourne
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Oct 31, 2019
Words:524
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