Zarita out of Cup with virus

Zarita has been scratched from tomorrow’s Melbourne Cup, reducing the field to 23 for the $5.5 million race.

The Pat Hyland-trained mare, who was a $71 chance, has been ruled out due to a virus.

English horse Mad Rush is the $5 favourite ahead of Irish stayer Septimus who has eased to $5.50 amid concerns he will not run if the Flemington track is too firm.