Trainer John O’Shea has revealed that dual Group 1 winner Contributer could miss the 2016 Autumn Racing Carnival due to a foot abscess.
Contributer returned to a semblance of his best form with a close third in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 31 and he was set to make the trip to Hong Kong for the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), but he was found with a foot abscess after the race and complications in the treatment sent him to the Randwick Equine Centre.
O’Shea confirmed that Contributer had now returned to his stable, but the leading trainer said that it was unlikely the High Chaparral entire would be ready to run in the autumn and he admitted that the career of the five-year-old is at a crossroads.
“I need to get him back to one piece,” O’Shea said.
“He really struggled with a bad foot abscess and he spent two weeks at Randwick equine centre and he only just got himself home in the last week.
“He is on an upward spiral, but I would say he will miss the early part of the Carnival, which is disappointing.
“If we can get him back that would be great, but he is at the crossroads.”
Contributer was purchased by Godolphin after he took out the Listed Wolferton Handicap (2012m) during the 2014 Royal Ascot Meeting and he made his Australian racing debut with a win in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m).
The talented entire failed to fire in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m), but he was the star of the 2015 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and he took out the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) before he was ruled out of the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) due to injury.
A great deal was expected of Contributer during the autumn and he was the early Cox Plate favourite, but he missed the placings in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 5, the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 26 and the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) before O’Shea elected to bypass the Cox Plate and set him for the Mackinnon Stakes.
Contributer is currently available at 2016 Queen Elizabeth Stakes odds of $21, while Winx ($6) is a clear favourite from Criterion ($9), Highland Reel ($10), Mongolian Khan ($12) and Press Statement ($14).