Trainer Chris Waller has lost the battle to get Patrick Erin into the Melbourne Cup via the Lexus Stakes with Group One Metropolitan Handicap winner succumbing to an elevated temperature.
Patrick Erin needed to win Saturday’s Lexus Stakes to be assured of a Cup start three days later.
He was withdrawn from Wednesday’s Bendigo Cup with a slightly elevated temperature and Waller ordered blood tests on Friday to determine if the horse had an underlying infection and he was taken out late in the afternoon.
Waller said Patrick Erin remained bright and had been eating well.
The trainer has Brimham Rocks in the Lexus trying to win his way to the Melbourne Cup.
Brimham Rocks has finished second in his past three starts including the Metropolitan and the Herbert Power Stakes won by Melbourne Cup favourite Yucatan.
Waller already has three guaranteed Cup runners – Finche to be ridden by Zac Purton, Youngstar (Craig Williams) and veteran Who Shot Thebarman (Ben Melham).
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Runaway has also come out of the Lexus with the Geelong Cup winner assured of a Melbourne Cup start at No.22 in the order of entry for the 24-horse field.
The Waterhouse/Bott team has indicated Thinkin’ Big will run in the Cup if he wins the Victoria Derby with the Lexus winner to take the last spot if already nominated.
Tally and Ladies First are the two Lexus runners not paid up as entries for the Melbourne Cup leaving nine vying for the guaranteed berth.