2012 Victoria Derby winner Fiveandahalfstar will not return to the races until the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival after being found with heat in his off fore leg.
Fiveandahalfstar missed the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival after failing to recover sufficiently from a fetlock injury that he suffered during his win in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) and is now struggling with another problem in a different spot on the same leg.
The Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) were all possible targets for Fiveandahalfstar in the autumn, but Cummings confirmed yesterday that he will keep the Hotel Grand gelding in cotton wool until the spring.
“His leg had a bit of heat in it at the end of last week and unfortunately he won’t be running in the autumn,” Cummings told TVN.
“I had a look at a few different options, but at the end of the day we are just going to back off and leave him for the spring.
“We are better off to wait and hopefully get him back some time later.”
Fiveandahalfstar failed to fire in eight starts as a two-year-old but excelled when stepped up in distance as a three-year-old; recording two wins in Sydney before scoring an upset victory in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.
He returned to races with a second place finish behind Mulaazem in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 9 and was beaten by Victoria Derby runner-up Super Cool in the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
Fiveandahalfstar made his weight-for-age debut in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 9 and was narrowly denied victory by Super Cool, once again, before returning to Sydney for the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) where he was beaten as a well-backed favourite by Chris Waller-trained Foreteller.
The front-running gelding finally ended his streak of second place finishes with a victory in the Group 1 The BMW; producing a brave performance to hold off the fast-finishing New Zealand-trained duo of Silent Achiever and Sangster.
Fiveandahalfstar will be joined on the sidelines during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing and 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival by rival Super Cool, who was ruled out of the autumn by trainer Mark Kavanagh this morning.