Moon Devil will be the lone runner for trainer Angela Forster in the $200,000 Carlton Mid Darwin Cup (2000m) at Fannie Bay today after she was forced to scratch Montalto on Friday.
The Port Lincoln trainer was giving herself a great chance of winning the feature race of the Darwin Cup Carnival with Montalto but will have to rely on her the stable’s second stringer Moon Devil to fly the flag.
“He always gives you 100 per cent in his races,’’ Forster told The Advertiser.
“It’s exciting. I’ve never had a horse in a race worth this much money.’’
Moon Devil is coming off a last start third to Darwin Cup rival Royal Request in the $45,000 Buntine Handicap (1900m) at Fannie on July 16 and is rated as one of the outsiders of the field at $21 at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Montalto was rated one of the top three fancies in the Ladbrokes.com.au Darwin Cup market order at $4.20 when Forster was forced to scratch the seven year old mare after a slight tendon injury was discovered.
“It’s devastating,’’ Forster said.
“Basically she bruised her tendon, she’ll have a couple of months off and should be back to normal but it’s disappointing.’’
Montalto underwent a veterinary examination on Friday and Northern Territory chief steward David Hensler said that the mare was unfit to start after some swelling was detected in the off fore leg.
“Montalto had some swelling to the off fore leg. It wasn’t lame, but there was certainly swelling there,” Hensler told the NT News.
“So the vets scanned the horse and found there was a small tear in the tendon.
“It’s bad luck for connections, but good luck it was detected, because obviously if they had raced it, it could have got a bit worse.”
The Gary Clarke trained Finke, who is eligible to win a $100,000 Ladbrokes Triple Crown Bonus, heads the Ladbrokes.com.au Darwin Cup market order at $3.80 just ahead of stablemate Lightinthenite at $4.20 and the well supported Saturday Sorcerer who has firmed in from $14 to be on the third line of betting at $5.
Darwin Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.80 Finke, $4.20 Lightinthenite, $5 Saturday Sorcerer, $6 Our Valdivia, $6.50 Royal Request, $10 Whistle Stop, $21 Big Man, Moon Devil, $41 Canny Ballad, Spartan Eagle, $61 Orion.