The Grahame Begg-trained Nonconformist has been scratched from the 2023 Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday.
Racing Victoria’s veterinarians examined the horse on Thursday and identified lameness in its right hind leg.
As a result, on Friday, the decision was made to withdraw the horse from the race after a second inspection.
This unexpected turn of events opened up a spot in the field for the emergency entry, United Nations.
Nonconformist was set to be ridden by jockey Harry Coffey from barrier 19.
However, fate had other plans, and this late withdrawal was reminiscent of the unfortunate incident last year when Begg had another star stayer, Lunar Flare, ruled out by veterinarians just before the Melbourne Cup.
Without A Fight, is awaiting veterinary clearance to proceed to the starting barriers.
The Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained horse had presented with lameness in its left front leg. The decision regarding its fitness is expected to be made on Friday afternoon.
On a positive note, the race’s four international contenders were given the green light to participate.
Racing Victoria’s veterinarians conducted inspections at the Werribee International Horse Centre on Friday morning, ensuring that Breakup, West Wind Blows, Okita Soushi, and Valiant King were all deemed fit to compete in the race.
United Nations opened at $81 with Neds Australia after gaining a start in the Caulfield Cup, with Gold Trip ($6) the current bookmaker favourite.