29 October 2021

Spanish faces late vet check ahead of Melbourne Mission

29 October 2021

Spanish Mission will undergo a late veterinary inspection on Saturday ahead of his planned run in Tuesday’s Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

Andrew Balding’s British raider was found to have swelling in a foreleg at his initial check on Thursday and the Racing Victoria vets were not completely satisfied after a further inspection on Friday.

Trainer Tony Noonan and his son Tom have overseen Spanish Mission’s preparation for Balding as the handler’s British staff were unable to make the trip due to travel difficulties.

Final acceptances for Tuesday’s Group One feature are taken on Saturday and Noonan is confident Spanish Mission will be given the go-ahead to run.

He told www.racing.com: “Unfortunately, he had a little bit of a fusion in the pastern yesterday afternoon.

“He’d obviously rolled and probably given the joint a bit of a knock.

“He was a sound horse this morning, presented well, worked under saddle without an issue.

“Racing Victoria vets had inspected him at midday and found that he just wasn’t as good as they would have liked at this point in time.

“We’ve trotted him up again since their departure without a sleeve, which they put on his pastern to monitor his action and without the sleeve there, his trotted out soundly again.

“I think he’s probably got an infection under the skin; our vets have looked at that.

“He’ll probably go on a course of antibiotics this afternoon and I’d expect improvement really quickly.”

Spanish Mission, winner of the Yorkshire Cup, was last seen being beaten a head by Stradivarius in the Lonsdale Cup at York in August.

He is as low as 9-2 with William Hill and Betfred for the race and Noonan does not think his supporters should be concerned.

He added: “I would think there’s no doubt (about his participation), at this point in time.

“He was a sound horse under saddle this morning, he’s been sound right through, so this has just come out of left field, which can happen with horses, but I think we’re pretty well on the target as far as what’s caused it, and once we treat him, I think we’ll get a really quick response.”

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