Luca Cumani's Purple Moon ran a satisfactory race to finish sixth behind Master O'Reilly in an eventful renewal of the BMW Caulfield Cup.

The drama came down at the start when 30 seconds before the off, red-hot favourite Maldivian had to be withdrawn.

Eskimo Queen, the second-favourite, became upset in the stalls and amongst all the commotion Maldivian managed to cut himself.

Both horses were withdrawn on veterinary advice, but Master O'Reilly also had to pass the vet having being involved in the scene.

The five-year-old showed no ill-effects though and produced a smart turn of foot to run down Douro Valley inside the final furlong. Both were trained by Danny O'Brien.

It was jockey Vlad Duric's first victory in the Caulfield Cup.
Princess Coup finished third with the former Roger Charlton-trained Blue Monday in fourth.

Kerrin McEvoy met several pockets of interference when the pace quickened from his early position in the rear and ran a fine trial for the Melbourne Cup on 6 November.

Both Sara Cumani, wife of Luca, and McEvoy believed that Purple Moon had run a fine trial for the Flemington showpiece.

‘He started to make a good run coming around the bend then something came across him and he had to stop,’ said Cumani.
‘I think he could have been third with a clear run.’

McEvoy said: ‘Off that he would have to be a bit of a chance.’

The pair also believed Purple Moon would be better suited to the bigger track at Flemington, where the straight is more than 100m longer than Caulfield.

‘You wouldn't be used to this sort of track. He's used to a mile straight to finish off so Flemington will suit him better,’ Cumani said.

‘But he handled the ground and he finished well. Everything's OK but it could have been better,’ she said.

Cumani said a decision on whether Jamie Spencer would replace McEvoy in the Melbourne Cup had not yet been made.

‘That's a whole different ball game. We've got 16 days to work out what's going on,’ she said.

Winning trainer O'Brien, confirmed the first two home would now head towards the Melbourne Cup also.

‘We've won a lot of Group Ones before but obviously this is one of the big majors and one of them you want as a trainer. I can't believe it's happened,’ O'Brien said.

‘It's the best form ace for the Melbourne Cup and you couldn't get a better trial than that.’