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Red Verdon cleared for Melbourne Cup start

English stayer Red Verdon has been cleared to run in the Melbourne Cup after passing another veterinary examination.

Red Verdon was found to have a bruised heel on Thursday but passed a Racing Victoria inspection on Friday and another on Saturday morning.

Scottish-trained stayer Nakeeta was also re-examined on Saturday morning and passed suitable to accept for the Cup.

Nakeeta was 24th in the latest ballot ahead of Saturday’s Derby day meeting at Flemington.

A host of horses lower down the order of entry are competing in Saturday’s Lexus Stakes vying for a ballot exemption into Tuesday’s Cup.

Three-year-old Thinkin’ Big could also snare a place in the Cup if he wins Saturday’s Victoria Derby and his connections choose to accept.

Cup acceptances are taken at 4.30pm on Saturday and will be followed by the declaration of the final field, which has a limit of 24 runners, and the barrier draw.

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