The Doomben Cup is off the cards for Group 1 winner Solzhenitsyn after trainer Robert Heathcote missed the first acceptance deadline on Wednesday.
The big gelding was a surprise omission from the 14 acceptors but it was later revealed that it wasn’t intentional.
Solzhenitsyn was being aimed at the $500,000 feature and while he is still eligible to contest the race, connections would have to pay a $22,000 late entry fee.
It has been a tough week for Queensland’s leading trainer who copped a $500 fine on Monday for blog comments that stewards deemed were “prejudicial to the image of racing.”
Rather than run the risk and pay the late fee, it is believed Solzhenitsyn will now be aimed at next month’s $1.36 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) via the Group 3 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) on May 11.
It is a serious blow to the stable as the Doomben Cup has long been the primary winter goal for the six-year-old.
Also missing the deadline was the Patinack Farm operation with Transporter who announced himself as a Doomben Cup smokey when third to Lights Of Heaven in the Hollindale Stakes on Saturday.
It is not yet known whether Patinack will pay the late fee for Transporter and another option could be to run in Friday week’s Scone Cup.