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Hitotsu Will Not Run in the Melbourne Cup

Hitotsu Will Not Run in the Melbourne Cup
Saturday, October 30, 2021 (© imago images) RACING VICTORIA DERBY, Jockey John Allen rides Hitotsu to victory in race 6, the Penfolds Victoria Derby, during Victoria Derby Raceday at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.

Having shown tons of class en route to his date with destiny, previous favourite Hitotsu has now been ruled out of the Melbourne Cup completely.

It has been revealed that Hitotsu has sustained a leg injury, one that means he cannot participate in the Spring Carnival. The injury has also put into question his entire racing career.

Suspensory Branch Injury to Blame

Hitotsu had been building himself quite the reputation. The champion three-year-old won the VRC Derby, the Australian Derby and the ATC Derby.

Now however, he has sustained an injury to his suspensory branch. The ailment, which is near his off fore leg, ensures he misses out on the Melbourne Cup for certain.

Previously a general $9 favourite, or joint-favourite in places with Verry Elleegant who now will also not run having gone off to Europe, Hitotsu’s connections also had a trip to the Cox Plate pencilled in.

The Japan Cup was another long-term target for the galloper, though ambitions are now halted by trainer Ciaron Maher.

Decisions to Be Made on Future in Due Course

Naturally this news is a huge blow for the owners. Hitotsu had built up quite the following in winning his Derbies. Connections have gone on record via Ciaron Maher Racing to say that they hope for a speedy recovery for the horse, and that we haven’t seen the best of him yet.

Those hopes are ambitious in truth with this sort of injury. A successful rehabilitation for Hitotsu would not see him return to racing until at least autumn 2023. Whether he can come back at all is a major question. The owners and Maher will of course decide on whether he can race again with welfare in mind.

According to the statement released by the stable, discussions are ongoing. We await with great interest the decisions made about Hitotsu’s future and his wellbeing.

What Hitotsu’s Injury Means for the Cup Betting

With Verry Elleegant heading off to Europe, Incentivise still on the comeback trail and now news of Hitotsu being unable to run, the Melbourne Cup betting has had quite the shake-up in the past week or so.

Last year’s runner-up Incentivise still leads the way. The TAB has him as an $11.00 chance, though further news is awaited of his own comeback success. He was injured in last year’s race.

Duais is next in at $15.00, alongside Spanish Mission and Stay Foolish at the same odds. Another $15.00 chance is Kyprios and he is one to watch.

Aidan O’Brien’s galloper has an entry in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, where he could meet star stayers Stradivarius and Trueshan.

Montefelia is now $18.00 and Manobo is $21.00, but a word of caution on the Godolphin runner. Previously thought of as a stayer, plans have now changed. Manobo will step down to 2400 metres instead for the Coronation Cup at Epsom and may not be considered for staying races this season.

Read more news about the Melbourne Cup.

Vauban Handed 55kg in Melbourne Cup Weights

St Leger Recap: Horses on Target for the Cup

Fewer British Entries Than Expected in Cup

Gary Christie
105 articles
For more than 20 years, Gary has been immersed in the worlds of sports writing and betting. As well as writing on the subjects of sports and horse racing, Gary has spent years privately handicapping horse races around the world in order to bet professionally. While having appeared on TV and spoken publicly at racecourses, Gary has a passion for writing. He produces articles every day for various territories including North America, UK, Europe and Australia.
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