LA POISSE : Bande will not take his place in Saturday's $3 million Group 1 Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup (2400m).
The Japanese visitor on Friday morning failed a veterinary examination carried out by Racing Victoria stewards at Werribee.
Heat and pain was detected in Bande's off-fore tendon, resulting in stewards deeming him unfit to take his place in the race.
“We examine horses where there's a suspect aspect to the preparation or whatever and we do that with all runners and in high-profile races,” Racing Victoria's head veterinarian Dr Brian Stewart said on RSN's Racing Ahead just minutes after Bande was withdrawn around 9.30am.
“(Chief steward) Terry Bailey asked me to inspect Bande this morning (Friday) and we found a quite hot and sore right fore tendon.
“I think it's probably been a pre-existing problem that has been managed through pretty effectively, but they've come to the business end and the tendon is hot and painful this morning.
“That's, to our standards, not acceptable in any race really so unfortunately we had to make a decision to recommend withdrawal.”
The Yoshito Yahagi-trained front-runner was the $7 second favourite, behind $4.60 top pick Lucia Valentina, at the time of his withdrawal.
Bande's scratching continues a dramatic lead-up to the Caulfield Cup, which saw Gris Caro and Dandino scratched on Thursday due to injury.
One further runner, the Gai Waterhouse-trained The Offer, is scheduled to undergo a vet's examination at 12.30pm on Friday after showing signs of lameness on Thursday morning.
Should the one-time Caulfield Cup favourite fail that test, fourth emergency Renew will join fellow reserves Brambles, Araldo and Unchain My Heart as starters in the race.
Following Bande's scratching, Lucia Valentina tightened into $4 in TAB's market with Japan's remaining runner – Admire Rakti – now the $8 second elect.
No pressure. That's the assessment of French jockey Christophe Lemaire as he prepares to partner heavily backed second favourite Bande in Saturday's $3.15 million Caulfield Cup. No pressure, except on master trainer Chris Waller to appoint one of France's most decorated hoops as his stable jockey. Asked if he fancied settling in Australia for a while, the 35-year-old said with a laugh: "Well, put it this way, if Chris Waller is looking for a stable jockey I would more than love to stay in Australia for a time. He has a remarkable strike rate." First though, Lemaire has the serious assignment of steering a horse he has never ridden to glory at Caulfield. Advertisement The winner of 48 group 1 races, he maintains that becoming overwhelmed by an upcoming major race can be a rider's undoing. So he's playing it cool. "If you look at Ryan Moore and that style of jockey, they rarely give any clue at being anxious or overwhelmed. And that's what it's got to be," said Lemaire, who arrives in Australia in the early hours of Friday morning. Japanese fancy Bande has been backed all over the world and has been crunched in betting from $41 to $8.50 for the cup. Lemaire has had mixed fortunes in his past two trips to Australia having won the 2011 Melbourne Cup on Dunaden and then being aboard Verema in the 2013 Cup when she broke a leg and had to be destroyed. "It looks a bit odd, doesn't it. A big win and then a sad loss. Hopefully I can add the Caulfield Cup to my record." Lemaire has spent this week watching tapes of past Caulfield Cups and studying the race patterns of his rivals. Speaking after riding trackwork at Chantilly, France on Tuesday morning, he said: "I've been watching tapes of old Caulfield Cups and basically planning my strategy on where I'll be," he said. "I've just made mental notes at the layout of the track, which seems quite simple. But now I'm looking at three specific points of where to relax and where to improve." Lemaire, who's had a long association with Japanese racing having spent the past 13 winters riding there, says he's not concerned that he's never been aboard Bande, a bold front-running stayer. "At the same time as studying past Caulfield Cups, I've also been looking closely at his performance and he seems to be the classic front-running stayer. "I know how the horse would have been prepared for the race, so I have no queries on that count. I've just got to fly in and do my part and win the Caulfield Cup," he said. Lemaire said it would make no difference where Bande was drawn. "Worrying about barrier draws is secondary. The opposition jockeys would have done their homework on me and my mount and they know I'll be in position from the start and be up with the leaders," he said. Lemaire is the son of a jumps jockey who spent many years discouraging "the little lightweight" not to become a professional jockey but rather stay as a gentleman rider and have a job on the side to supplement his income. "Father was against me doing it but I was skinny and really light so after the family moved from Chantilly to the south of France I desperately had to go back to Chantilly again to be amongst the horses," he said. "I told my father I wouldn't be a jumping jockey as that was too dangerous. I just want to be a flat jockey and ride lots of winners. "However, my parents were very wise. I remained at school until I was 18 and the years before that they would send me to London for months at a time to ensure that my English is the best it could be," he said. A father of two, Lemaire has won group 1 races in nearly every racing centre in the world. His poise and polish and his distance riding have made him a favourite with Japanese trainers and owners. However Lemaire admits that coming from the northern hemisphere into the southern hemisphere brings with it a radical change of culture in the make-up of horses. "In Europe we look at Australia and their horses as firstly speed, secondly stamina. But in France it's the other way around. We place huge emphasis on stamina rather than speed. "We have some wonderful pedigrees and those families have managed to produce excellent stayers. Perhaps in England there's more sprinting, but here in France we are sort of dedicated to horses running a long distance," he said. Whatever happens at 5.40pm on Saturday, Lemaire will do his his job and then return on Saturday night to be back at Longchamp for a full book of rides on Sunday. As he says, the world's become a smaller place, especially for top group 1-winning jockeys.
55ème victoires avec Azucardel à plus de 30/1, heureusement Cp y croyait!!!!.
La 56ème aurait pu être dans le Prix Eclipse un G3 mais Cp a préféré monter La Berma plutôt que Souvenir de Londres, ça ne s'est pas joué à grand chose. La vérité d'un jour n'est pas celle du lendemain. A suivre . . .