Cup pair in race morning vet inspections

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Two horses are under Melbourne Cup eve scrutiny as a mare who has beaten the odds to race again emerged as the best chance of keeping one of sport's most iconic trophies on Australian soil.

Lunar Flare and Interpretation will face additional veterinary inspections only hours out from the $8 million race.

They will have to pass Racing Victoria veterinarian protocols before Tuesday's scratching deadline but there are no such concerns for Cup lightweight Realm Of Flowers.

Realm Of Flowers, one of leading contenders for last year's race before succumbing to injury, attracted support to beat the English-trained favourite Deauville Legend ($3.70) during the traditional Call of the Card.

In anticipation her prospects will be enhanced with only 50kg if the race is run on a deteriorating track, Realm Of Flowers firmed to share the second tier of betting at $10.

Realm Of Flowers, trained by Anthony and Sam Freedman, hasn't been seen since finishing third in The Metropolitan at Randwick in early October.

She was down to run at the Victoria Derby day meeting but scratched as her chances of making the Melbourne Cup field improved.

"I'm very happy with the way she is going. I didn't want to run her on Saturday and I had to take that punt and it paid off," Anthony Freedman said.

Trainer Grahame Begg is more hopeful than confident Lunar Flare can recover in time from a heel issue.

"We are trying to get the soreness out of the heel but rest assured if she doesn't come up, she doesn't come up and her welfare will be paramount," he said.

Interpretation, one of five runners for co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, is also lame.

Ben Hayes is banking on a race in Ireland that has unearthed two of the past three overseas winners to have an influence again with import Camorra.

Camorra is a new addition to the Lindsay Park stable as the famed training operation bids for a fourth Melbourne Cup success.

Hayes' grandfather Colin trained two winners in the 1980s and his father David won in 1994 with Jeune.

Camorra arrives in Australia after finishing down the course in the Irish St Leger but he counts a Curragh Cup win among four Irish victories.

Rekindling (2018) and Twilight Payment (2020) won the Curragh Cup on their way to Flemington glory and Hayes is optimistic it will be a strong reference for Camorra to run well.

"He is a little bit forgotten because his last run on paper looks very disappointing," Hayes said.

"But that was on a bottomless, heavy track and the jockey did look after him in the last 200 metres and the margin isn't a reflection of how he is going."

Owner Lloyd Williams's hopes of winning the race for the eighth time are down to one runner, the 2020 Epsom Derby winner Serpentine, after the withdrawal of Point Nepean.

Flemington track manager Liam O'Keeffe said the weather forecast made it almost certain the Cup would turn into a test of endurance.

"If we get rain during the races the track will obviously be heavy," he said.


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