November 3, 2014 / 12:37 AM / in 3 years

Sea Moon withdrawal leaves Melbourne Cup with 23 runners

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Rank outsider Sea Moon was withdrawn from the Melbourne Cup because of a high temperature on Monday, leaving the 154th version of A$6.2 million (US$5.5 million) race with only 23 runners.

The 150-1 chance for Tuesday’s race at Flemington Racecourse finished 13th in the 3200 meter handicap last year.

The Racecourse said on its official Twitter account that Racing Victoria stewards had been informed of the scratching on Monday morning because the British-bred stallion had “an elevated temperature”.

Unfortunate jockey Tommy Berry is now without a ride for his nation’s top race having switched to Sea Moon from The Offer last week when the latter, an early favorite, was withdrawn by trainer Gai Waterhouse.

Foreign raider Admire Ratki, aiming to become only the second Japanese horse to win the Melbourne Cup, remains the favorite at odds of 9-2 to win the race in front of a crowd of 100,000 on Tuesday.

Writing by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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