The 2014 Orr Stakes is likely to have only six runners following the scratching of Playing God and the likely withdrawal of Sertorius.
Playing God was set to have his first race start in Melbourne since finishing sixth in the 2012 edition of the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), but has been retired and will stand at stud towards the end of the year after injuring a tendon during trackwork on Tuesday.
The Blackfriars entire had been a star performer for leading Perth trainer Neville Parnham, winning the 2010 and 2011 editions of the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m), and the veteran trainer told Racing Victoria that he is disappointed the six-year-olds racing career has ended in these circumstances.
“He worked extremely well at Mornington on Tuesday morning but yesterday evening I wasn’t super happy and this morning we scanned his leg and confirmed he’s got a lesion there in the tendon,” Parnham said.
“It’s one of these things that happen in the race game; we don’t like it, but it happens.
“He’s be retired now; he’s been a wonderful performer for the stable, he won almost $1.7 million, and I’m happy to say we benefitted from having him in the stable.”
The withdrawal of Playing God leaves the 2014 Orr Stakes field with seven runners and progressive stayer Sertorius is also expected to be ruled out of the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Co-trainer Jamie Edwards revealed yesterday that Sertorius does not handle the heat well and told TVN this morning that the son of Galileo extremely unlikely to run this weekend because of the heat wave that is expected to hit Melbourne tomorrow.
“He really suffered from the heat a few weeks back and his work was flat, but as soon as it cooled down his work was much better,” Edwards said.
“We’ll get the vet to have a look at him tomorrow and if there is any hint of heat-stress with him he’ll come out.
“I would say he’s a very unlikely runner on Saturday.”
Moment Of Change ($2.40) remains a narrow favourite in 2014 Orr Stakes betting markets, following the withdrawal of Playing God, but there has been plenty of support for 2013 Cox Plate winner Shamus Award ($3.20), while Eurozone is on the third line of betting at a quote of $5.50.