Mark Kavanagh was adamant something was seriously wrong with December Draw following his Caulfield Cup defeat and that was proven with a fracture discovered in his rear leg.
Kavanagh insisted to stewards post race that there was an issue but was left fuming as Racing Victoria dismissed his claims.
“There is marks and they’re saying, ‘Gee, they’re not very big marks’, (but) the fact is he has fractured the lateral splint bone in his off hind,” Kavanagh said.
“Often you don’t get these things surface until they cool off.
“It’s tough for a trainer to walk out of the track after what happened and for everybody to say, ‘We can’t find much wrong with him’.
“The horse did not do enough work for his heartbeat to be like it was. He was in pain. It was a stress blow after the race.”
December Draw was eased down on the straight to finish last after starting as the clear cut favourite.
The injury has ended his spring and he will be out of action until well into next year potentially even next season.
“It will take four to five months to get him rolling again,” Kavanagh said.
“Unless you considered the Brisbane carnival, and that may be something, but to get his stuff together we’re looking at next spring.”
The trainer says the break was caused after December Draw was galloped on half way through the race but the good news is he’s expected to make a full recovery.
“It was a situation where it has been galloped on,” he said.
“It is not a ligament that has been pulled or has been hurt by normal wear and tear. It is an accident that has happened.
“From what the vet has seen before, he expects the horse to make a full recovery.
“We’ve got the facilities at my farm to put him in a box and look after him and put him in a small yard during the day where it is grassed.
“He’s in a comfortable state right now, but it was pretty plain to the naked eye there was soreness on the trot up this morning.”
It brings to an end what was a remarkable campaign for December Draw as he came from relative obscurity to become a Group 1 champion.