Magic Millions winner Le Chef is out of the Brisbane Winter Carnival after suffering an injury when unplaced in the Group 2 $175,000 Bollinger Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Le Chef was sent out the $4 favourite but after travelling in the first half dozen during the race faded in the straight to finish thirteenth to Blueberry Hill.
The Exceed And Excel two year old was examined straight after the race by the club’s vet but no abnormalities could be found.
But in the days following it was detected that Le Chef had suffered a nasty tear to his hip muscle.
Le Chef could have done the damage at the start with the stewards’ report stating that he “blundered at the start” and also “had to be restrained off heels at the 800m”.
Trainer Darryl Hansen will now spell the gelding and set him for some suitable three year old races in the Spring.
Le Chef was beaten at his first race start in November but quickly rose to prominence with a hat trick of wins which kicked off with his maiden victory over 1100m at Ipswich in December before scoring a one length win over 1200m at the Gold Coast on January 3.
Hansen then took Le Chef back to the Gold Coast the following week to collect his biggest win of his career with a three quarters of a length win over Pepperano in the $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m).
Magic Millions runner up Pepperano caught the eye with a strong finish to record a third to stablemate Blueberry Hill in the Champagne Classic while Wicked Intent, who also finished behind Le Chef at the Gold Coast in January, ran a brave race to finish second at Doomben.
Le Chef was being aimed at the Group 1 $600,000 BMW Australia J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Doomben on June 6 and his next start was to be the Group 2 $250,000 Mitavite Australia BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday week.
Le Chef was listed as a $21 chance at Ladbrokes.com.au for the J.J. Atkins before it was revealed that he would need time off to recover from his hip injury.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Sempre Libera heads the J.J. Atkins market order at $7.50 ahead of the Melbourne filly Payroll at $9.50 with Champagne Classic winner Blueberry Hill and the Chris Waller trained Counterattack sharing the next line of betting at $11.