A start in Saturday’s Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick for top weight Efficient will be determined by a pre race veterinary examination later in the week.
Prominent owner Lloyd Williams was very outspoken when Efficient was a late scratching from the Group 2 $175,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick on April 14 after race day vets deemed the eight year old to be lame in the off foreleg and connections were told a veterinary clearance would be required before he was allowed to start again.
Williams was furious that Efficient was found to be lame, saying that his Melbourne Cup winner had developed an arthritic condition.
“He’s like that all the time,” Williams said. “You need to know the horse.”
“A new vet trots him up and says he’s sore. He’s not – he’s arthritic.”
“Having owned more than 2000 horses in 47 years, I have some idea.”
“I was absolutely furious, as annoyed as I have been about racing in 40 years.”
“Would there be anyone else in the world who looks after their horses better than I do? I’m very annoyed.”
Racing New South Wales chief steward Ray Murrihy wants to avoid another race day upset and has offered Williams the opportunity to have Efficient vetted before the week end.
“It will be far better if we can see the horse, and Friday would be more ideal to have it inspected,” Murrihy said.
“If there are any issues they want to bring to our attention in respect to its peculiarities, then it is a better time so we can get the best outcome.”
“What our vets said was that it was between one and two grades lame so that is not a chronic situation and it may well have resolved itself.”
A new rider for Sydney Cup favourite Permit will depend on Efficient being an acceptor at final declarations on Tuesday morning after regular rider Corey Brown is out due to suspension.
With Americain and Manighar, who are at the top of the weights, heading for the Group 1 $500,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), Efficient has been left with 56.5kg at the head of the list and if he accepts the weights will have to be raised by 1.5kg to meet the conditions which stipulate the top weight in a Group 1 race must carry 58kg.
In this case Permit’s weight will be raised to 53.5kg and Kerrin McEvoy will ride, however if Efficient doesn’t accept on Tuesday, Drunken Sailor will carry the number one saddlecloth and the weights will be raised by 2.5kg.
Permit will then carry 54.5kg, and that will be enough for Hugh Bowman to take the mount.
Efficient hasn’t raced since finishing fifth to Manighar in the Group 1 $1m Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10 but has been scratched on two occasions since.
Gai Waterhouse looks likely to back up Herculian Prince in the Sydney Cup after the six year old ran a solid second to stable mate Western Symbol in the Listed $100,000 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m) at Randwick last Saturday.