2012 Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar has been ruled out of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival after failing to recover sufficiently from a fetlock injury.
Fiveandahalfstar sustained a sprained fetlock during his victory in the Group 1 BMW (2400m) at Randwick and has been recovering in the spelling paddock ever since.
Trainer Anthony Cummings had been confident that the rising four-year-old would recover from the injury in time for a spring campaign but today made the difficult decision to keep him in the paddock for an extra month and bypass the entire Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The withdrawal has robbed the Spring Carnival of one of its stars as Fiveandahalfstar was expected to be a leading contender for the Caulfield Cup (2400m), Cox Plate (2040m) and Melbourne Cup (3200m) after an impressive autumn campaign that included a victory over older horses at Group 1 weight-for-age-level.
The Hotel Grand gelding started the autumn with a string of second place finishes in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m), Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m), Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) before finally breaking through for his second Group 1 victory in The BMW.
His rivalry with exciting colt Super Cool was one of the highlights of the 2012/2013 racing season with the duo quinellaing Group races on three separate occasions.
Fiveandahalfstar is expected to be given a lengthy stint in the paddock before being brought back to the races for the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival.