Caulfield Cup second favourite Lucas Cranach is suffering from a foot abscess and is in doubt for Saturday’s $2.5 million race.
The German galloper, who is scheduled to open his Australian account in the first leg of Melbourne’s spring Cups double, had caused a stir at the Werribee quarantine centre late last week when he appeared with heavy bandages on a front leg.
Concerns were further aroused when a farrier was called to him on Friday and Saturday.
Former Victorian trainer Lee Freedman, who handled the horse’s preparation in England after his purchase by Australian interests and who had been looking after him in Australia, added to the conjecture around Lucas Cranach when he abruptly removed him from the Werribee complex at the weekend.
Freedman had previously planned to keep the horse at Werribee until after the Caulfield Cup.
Freedman said the horse was merely suffering a bruise to his leg and had been bandaged to prevent it spreading.
But stewards at Caulfield on Wednesday reported the horse was being treated for the abscess.
Chief steward Terry Bailey said Lucas Cranach would undergo a veterinary examination on Friday, but connections said the problem was only minor and hadn’t prevented him being worked on Wednesday.
Bookmakers placed Lucas Cranach on the second line of betting for Saturday’s race at $7 after he drew ideally in barrier three.
December Draw, who drew 11, holds Caulfield Cup favouritism at $2.40.