Australian Cup favourite Lucas Cranach has been scratched from tomorrow’s $1m Group 1 and won’t race again until the spring.
Trainer Anthony Freedman notified Racing Victoria Stewards that Lucas Cranach had sustained an injury and would be scratched from the 2000m Australian Cup at Flemington.
With the enforced scratching of the German horse, the David Hayes trained Americain has regained favouritism and is now $2.30 with Bart Cummings’ Illo at $5.50 just ahead of Manighar at $6.
Freedman said that everything was fine with Lucas Cranach after he had completed his track work session in the morning but he knew there was something amiss when he went to inspect him in the afternoon.
X-rays revealed that the five year old had taken a tiny flake off the back of his sesamoid and would require lower leg surgery.
“He’ll be out for a couple of months. He won’t race now until the spring,” Freedman said.
“At first, I thought it was just an infection that could have been managed.”
“But he got a little bit sorer and sorer to the point that at 6pm we were calling for the vet to do some tests and X-rays.”
“And then the results came back with him taking a tiny flake off the back of a sesamoid.”
Lucas Cranach and Americain were having a tight battle for favouritism but the Freedman trained stallion was gaining the upper hand especially after his first up win in the Group 2 $200,000 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 25.
As well as the Australian Cup, Lucas Cranach will miss the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 7 and will have to spell and then be prepared for the Spring races.
Hayes couldn’t be happier with the progress of Americain and is looking forward to the challenge of preparing the French galloper for a first up tilt at the Australian Cup.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a horse set for an Australian Cup First up,” Hayes said.
“But he’s a very exciting horse with a wonderful attitude.”
Hayes has taken notice of the other European horses who have raced well fresh and is confident he has trained Americain to do the same.
As well as Lucas Cranach winning first up at Caulfield, Peter Moody prepared his import Manighar to win the Group 3 Catanach’s Jewellers Carlyon Cup over 1600m at Caulfield on February 11 first up and the Bart Cummings trained Illo ran a fair race when fourth to Black Caviar in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 11.