Melbourne Cup-Marmelo

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carole
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:43 pm

I’d love to hear some opinions on this. British runners Marmelo (2nd last year) and Ispolini have been withdrawn from the Melbourne Cup by the stewards following a standing CT scan. The scan found that Marmelo in particular had an incomplete fracture of his near-fore cannonbone and off-hind cannonbone.

However, his owners and trainer are absolutely adamant that Marmelo is perfectly healthy, in fact both him and Ispolini were our cantering this morning.

Initially, I was sceptical of the owners, but it turns out when they asked to see the scan and get a full report back, they were refused. Marmelo’s trainer says that if the horse indeed had an incomplete fracture, there’s no way he’d be cantering in the fantastic shape that he has been as of late. Also interesting to note is that those are the only two horses to have received a standing CT scan and last year allegedly Marmelo was the only horse to have blood and urine samples taken on race day.

I’m highlighting Marmelo because his owners will be taking legal action against this ruling. Meanwhile, connections of Ispolini are disappointed but they will not argue the stewards decision (in case anyone wondered, Ispolini was found to have indications of pre-fracture pathology).
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Mylute
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:51 pm

I'm no veterinarian or horse anatomy expert, but if Maremelo did indeed have some form of a fracture, I don't see how he could gallop or even walk comfortably.
Last edited by Mylute on Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ThreeMustangs
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:04 pm

I don’t understand why they refused to let the owners see the scan. And why not scan more than two horses? Something doesn’t smell quite right.
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Starine
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:11 pm

Cup scratching labelled a 'media stunt' as Marmelo's owners eye legal action
https://www.theage.com.au/sport/racing/ ... 5361r.html
Tessablue
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:32 pm

It's a really interesting situation and I want to read more from all sides before really passing judgment. It sounds like Marmelo was singled out for scanning because the veterinarians thought he looked sore. I'm not certain how long the scan takes, but it's possible that scanning all horses in the field, while clearly ideal, is not feasible quite yet given the level of our technology. I also can't judge how well a horse would move with an incomplete fracture, but you'd be surprised how much stress a bone can take before it becomes apparent.

I understand both the frustration by the connections and the caution of the Australian racing authorities regarding international entrants. The Melbourne Cup has had a staggering four deaths since 2014 (Red Cadeaux, Admire Rakti, Arnaldo, Cliffs of Moher), and every one of them was a shipper. I can see why the authorities would be very nervous going into this race, and the line between fair and unfair looks very thin here. Obivously hoping that it was a mistake and all the horses involved are fine.

Would be great for everyone if they could get second opinions on the results, or a second scan altogether.
BaroqueAgain1
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:47 pm

I just read the Paulick article about this, and it says:
‘Totally Unjustifiable’: Stewards, Trainer Clash As Marmelo Withdrawn From Melbourne Cup
The second-place finisher in last year's Melbourne Cup, Marmelo has been ordered withdrawn from the premier race due to results of a standing CT scan performed on the advice of Racing Victoria veterinarians. A statement released Wednesday evening said that the scan revealed “an incomplete fracture in the horse's near fore cannon bone and an incomplete fracture in its off hind cannon bone,” but trainer Hughie Morrison disagrees with that interpretation.
“The technology has been there for only six weeks and the conclusions drawn are completely different to the analysis and report done by the world renowned and the very eminent Dr. Ian Wright at Newmarket,” Morrison told racing.com.au. “Ian Wright has been dealing with CT scanners for years. He has viewed the scans and categorically said it is totally unjustifiable for this horse not to run in the Melbourne Cup.
“It is nothing to do with a fracture or incomplete fracture, it is bone remodeling.”
Dr. Wright wrote in a letter to Racing Victoria that Marmelo's scratch “was not justified,” according to theage.com.au, and the horse breezed on Thursday morning.
“We provided them with a vet certificate because the horse is absolutely sound,” said owner Aziz Kheir, who is reported to be considering legal action. “And we also provided them with three independent expert reports saying the horse is fine to run in the Melbourne Cup.
“My view is – and it's only my view – this is an opportunistic time for Racing Victoria to create a media stunt to say, 'we're doing everything best for the horses'. The horse's welfare is paramount to us and if he's not right we would scratch him.”
Another Melbourne Cup hopeful, Ispolini, was also withdrawn due to the results of his CT scan. In that case, the Racing Victoria report indicated that the scan revealed “pre-fracture pathology within the horse's right front cannon bone.” Ispolini is trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin.

https://www.paulickreport.com/news/the- ... ourne-cup/

I know that some people are suspicious that the scratch of Thais from the BC F&M Turf may be politically motivated, as in, 'let's do something that shows how serious we are about horse welfare,' but the scratches of Marmelo and Ispolini seem even more so.
IIRC, there is some bitterness among Aussie racing fans that their big race has become dominated by imported European horses. Removing two top Euro contenders has the unfortunate appearance of being motivated by politics. :(
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Mylute
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:51 pm

I understand being bummed that the Euros/overseas runners dominate your country's most prestigious race, but at the same time you can't really control who wins.

If the locals aren't good enough to beat the invader(s), then they aren't good enough. The Aussies could try to turn the tables by invading themselves, but they rarely ever try.
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Tessablue
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:57 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:47 pm
I know that some people are suspicious that the scratch of Thais from the BC F&M Turf may be politically motivated, as in, 'let's do something that shows how serious we are about horse welfare,' but the scratches of Marmelo and Ispolini seem even more so.
IIRC, there is some bitterness among Aussie racing fans that their big race has become dominated by imported European horses. Removing two top Euro contenders has the unfortunate appearance of being motivated by politics. :(
Maybe, but if anything the headlines have been dominated more by the deaths of those international horses. I mean, four in five years is really alarming, and I know Australian racing has faced some public challenges, especially on Melbourne Cup day. It's hard to imagine that their racing authorities care more about national pride than public scrutiny. Maybe a little of column A and a lot of column B?

Certainly wouldn't be shocked if Thais was a stunt, as she was least-important horse on either card (that sounds terrible but you know what I mean) and her trainer isn't exactly known for sending out horses who are less than 100%.
Last edited by Anonymous on Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BaroqueAgain1
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:27 pm

I have gotten the impression that Thais acts as a pace setter for the other Brown mare, Sistercharlie. Nothing wrong with that, but I wonder if there is another front runner who will give SC the fractions that might help her.
Somnambulist

Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:31 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:27 pm
I have gotten the impression that Thais acts as a pace setter for the other Brown mare, Sistercharlie. Nothing wrong with that, but I wonder if there is another front runner who will give SC the fractions that might help her.
I'd agree, I think she was entered as a rabbit. I read some article earlier with Brown saying he hopes they still get a fair pace.
Tessablue
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:33 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:27 pm
I have gotten the impression that Thais acts as a pace setter for the other Brown mare, Sistercharlie. Nothing wrong with that, but I wonder if there is another front runner who will give SC the fractions that might help her.
She was absolutely a pacemaker, Brown has been transparent about that. I honestly don't think it'll make a different because everyone just ignores her, and in some races, it kind of slows the pace down because everyone just takes way back to let her run off.

Mirth should be the pacesetter and is worth a glance at a decent price.
stark
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:36 pm

I hope Rick Porter and Jerry Hollendorfer chime in here.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Northport
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:09 pm

I don't know, it's devastating to connections, but if vets believe that the horses are at risk, and they have a CT scan that proves it, why take the chance? Pretty sure 95% of the trainers in existence who have sent out a horse who broke down believed the horse to be "perfectly fine" a couple days before the race. A horse who has something niggling or developing into something worse could show barely any sign of being lame to the eye, and I understand that Marmelo's own vets declared him fit before he got on the plane, but a 2nd opinion is exactly that, a 2nd opinion.
weeeeeeeee
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Mylute
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:19 pm

Northport wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:09 pm
I don't know, it's devastating to connections, but if vets believe that the horses are at risk, and they have a CT scan that proves it, why take the chance? Pretty sure 95% of the trainers in existence who have sent out a horse who broke down believed the horse to be "perfectly fine" a couple days before the race. A horse who has something niggling or developing into something worse could show barely any sign of being lame to the eye, and I understand that Marmelo's own vets declared him fit before he got on the plane, but a 2nd opinion is exactly that, a 2nd opinion.
I agree but the not letting the connections see the scan is really strange.
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Sparrow Castle
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Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:13 pm

If I correctly understand the paragraph below (from the Paulick article), the likely more experienced and eminent Newmarket doc examined the same CT scan and said it identified bone remodeling not a fracture. I'd definitely go with experience over some doc or radiologist whose qualifications and experience on this kind of machine isn't even identified. I'm appalled at some of the things technicians put in their radiology reports. And yeah, they should give a copy to the horse's connections if they have nothing to hide. Maybe I'm just getting too paranoid when it comes to things like this.
“The technology has been there for only six weeks and the conclusions drawn are completely different to the analysis and report done by the world renowned and the very eminent Dr. Ian Wright at Newmarket,” Morrison told racing.com.au. “Ian Wright has been dealing with CT scanners for years. He has viewed the scans and categorically said it is totally unjustifiable for this horse not to run in the Melbourne Cup.

“It is nothing to do with a fracture or incomplete fracture, it is bone remodeling.”
sweettalk
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Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:21 am

when they refuse to show the OWNERS the scans from their own horse, i can't defend them. there's no excuse to hide it unless... well, there's something to hide. i'm not gonna buy "well i trust the vets because this is their job and if it puts the horse first etc etc" i'd agree if they weren't keeping the scans from the owners.

that's ignoring that these were the only two horses scanned, and that they both went out to jog/canter and came back without incident.
Tessablue
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Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:24 am

Whoops, hadn't noticed they got a second opinion on the scans; that changes things. But how did the second vet get the scans if the officials won't release them? I'd really like to know more about the entire process.
sweettalk
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Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:31 am

that i wondered too, and while i appreciate your optimism a lot of the time (this place is in dire need of it and i always cheer when you're right :D ), this time, i gotta say i can't get on board, and i hope they win the lawsuit.

also that's a run on sentence i don't feel like fixing, lol. sorry about that.
Tessablue
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Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:39 am

That's very kind of you, thank you! It sure doesn't look good and I can't fault anyone, connections included, for being outraged by the situation. I just wonder if there are a lot of nerves going into this race given the fatalities and protests in recent years. Granted, a fear-driven overcorrection that harms legitimate contenders while damaging the race's international reputation isn't a good thing... but at least it's better than spite?
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Kurenai
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Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:28 am

If it's bone remodeling, then they would have to scratch about 90% of the field. :roll:

I'm with the owners on that one. Sometimes the radiologists put stuff on there that's ... yeah.
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