Leading English Melbourne Cup hope Carte Diamond is out of the Melbourne Cup following a fall from the horse by his jockey, and then the import’s own spectacular crash through rail barriers during a routine track gallop at Flemington this morning, footage of which will no doubt feature heavily in tonight’s sporting news bulletins.

Hard on the racing heels of Mummify being put down humanely after seriously injuring himself in the Caulfield Cup, Carte Diamond’s connections can count their blessings if their only loss today is a Cup start next Tuesday, when the horse could so easily have been killed.

In a familiarisation first gallop on the Cup course, South African race jockey Weichong Marwing said he was thrown from his mount after his right foot came out of the buckle because his stirrup leather had come undone.

TV footage then shows Carte Diamond continuing to gallop before smashing through an outside aluminium running rail and then falling headlong and heavily into the turf, before being caught by nearby track workers. He was immediately attended to by vets at the scene, who said he has suffered severe lacerations to his off hind leg. But preliminary reports suggest the horse will be saved, although whether he will race again might be another matter.

His withdrawal comes as a body blow not only to his shocked trainer Brian Ellison, but the VRC , been robbed of yet another foreign entrant. Following the shock withdrawal of the Godolphin entries last week, this year’s Cup field is now looking decidedly thin internationally – despite the imposing presence of the Irish champion Vinnie Roe, trained by two-time Cup winner Dermott Weld.

Peter Fray

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