The Caulfield Cup has been rocked with the sensational scratching of the second favourite Bande following a veterinary exam at Werribee this morning.

Racing Victoria vet Brian Stewart determined the Japanese raider had "heat and pain" in its off fore tendon and was unfit to take his place in Saturday's $3 million race.

Stewart began his exam of Bande about 8:30am (AEDT) and there was lengthy discussion behind closed doors with the horse's connections.

Much of the talk was centred around the horse's gait, with the Bande camp maintaining his action was normal.

The Japanese contingent left the Werribee quarantine centre without commenting to the waiting media.

The withdrawal has similarities to the scratching of Universal Prince on the morning of the 2001 Melbourne Cup when stewards disagreed with trainer Bede Murray about the horse's fitness.

Bande's withdrawal leaves the race without a declared front-runner and gives a start to the third emergency, Unchain My Heart.

The Cup had already lost two contenders on Thursday with lameness ruling Dandino out of the race along with local hope Gris Caro.

There is also a slight cloud over Gai Waterhouse's Sydney Cup winner The Offer, who was scheduled to undergo a vet check at 12:30pm.