Second favourite Egg Tart has been scratched from the Group 1 $1m Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Dual Oaks winner Egg Tart had been under a cloud all week with an eye injury and trainer Chris Waller informed Racing New South Wales Stewards that he had no choice but to scratch the mare after the eye troublesome eye failed to respond significantly to treatment.
Racing New South Wales released the following statement this morning.
“Trainer Chris Waller has advised Racing NSW Stewards that a veterinary examination of Egg Tart by his stable veterinarian this morning has found that Egg Tart is not suitable to race in tomorrow’s TAB Epsom Handicap, as the near side eye irritation has not improved sufficiently.”
Egg Tart had been treated and monitored all week with the stable confident that she would be fit to take her place in the Epsom Handicap, but she failed another vet’s examination today.
Egg Tart was the winner of the Group 1 $400,000 Schweppes Oaks (registered as Australasian Oaks) (2000m) at Morphettville and the Group 1 $500,000 Treasury Brisbane Queensland Oaks (2200m) at Doomben during the Autumn and Winter Carnivals.
The Sebring mare had resumed with an excellent first up second to Deploy in the Group 2 $200,000 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on September 9 and was the $6 second favourite at the time of her withdrawal.
The top weight Happy Clapper has firmed up again in Epsom Handicap betting with Egg Tart out and is now the $2.70 top pick at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Waller still has a strong hand in the Randwick Feature Mile and will saddle up the next three horses in the betting, Tom Melbourne at $6, Comin’ Through at $7 and Foxplay at $8.50.
The scratching of Egg Tart has reduced the Epsom Handicap field to eleven runners following the withdrawal yesterday of the Lindsay Park trained He’s Our Rokkii and Bjorn Baker’s Embley.