Trainer Trent Busuttin has confirmed that El Roca will not run in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30.
The Memsie Stakes was set to be the first Group 1 target for El Roca during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but his spring program was thrown out of whack after he missed the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday after being treated for a fever.
Busuttin told RSN that El Roca had recovered from the fever quickly and there were no signs that the issues had caused the son of Fastnet Rock any long-term damage, but the rising trainer believes that it would be too much to ask of the four-year-old to take on what is expected to be a very strong field first-up in the Memsie Stakes.
“He is fine now,” Busuttin said.
“He travelled over last week and a couple of days after he got here, he had a temperature spike and was off his feed for 24 hours, but we got the antibiotics into him and that got his temperature down and he is back working again with no dramas.
“You do have to be careful because it can knock them about and we were aiming up at the Memsie Stakes, but now that will probably be a bit tough on the horse first-up.
“We will just set the program back a few weeks and look to line up early to mid-September and head towards the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
“There is plenty of racing coming up in the spring and plenty of Group 1s and plenty of prizemoney, so you don’t want to panic and really push them hard to get them there for that 1400 metres race.
“He is not the type of horse that would strip 100 percent first-up over 1400 metres.”
El Roca has not been seen at the races since he finished ninth in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12, but he was given a quiet trial over 1040 metres at Te Teko on August 5 before making the trip to Australia.
Busuttin and connections are desperate to win a Group 1 with El Roca during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival after he was narrowly denied a win at the highest level of racing in both the Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m) and George Ryder Stakes (1500m) during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.