Caulfield’s Robert Smerdon has revealed beaten Blue Diamond Stakes favourite over the weekend Fontiton’s below par performance has been excused with the previously undefeated filly to undergo surgery for bone chips on her off-front fetlock.
The daughter of Turffontein looked the star juvenile of the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival after winning the Blue Diamond Fillies Preview and Prelude races to take her record to three from three.
Her debut was an impressive six length win at Moonee Valley back on Cox Plate Day last October in the Inglis Banner, and she went into Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at her home track as the $2.20 top fancy at the bookmakers.
She settled fourth and was third by the turn but failed to figure in the finish eventually crossing three and a quarter lengths away fifth behind the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained winner Pride Of Dubai.
Immediately after the race Smerdon told Racing Victoria the filly looked to have come to the end of her preparation and that her “flat” performance would see her head to the paddock for a break.
“She had a great run and got into the clear but she didn’t have the turn of foot that she usually has and she raced like a flat horse,” he said of the Blue Diamond Stakes run on Saturday.
“She did have a hell of a hard run here in the Prelude and she seemed to be back on deck but that was probably her grand final and she might have been over the top today.
“She’ll be off to the paddock now to get ready for the spring.”
Since then however Fontiton was found to be injured with two bone chips to be removed via surgery before she can relax in the paddock before gearing up for her spring return.
“She had swelling around and above the fetlock on Sunday morning,” Smerdon said on Monday.
“X-rays taken today have shown that there are two bone chips off the fetlock and she will go in for surgery, which will likely be up in Bendigo.
“The prognosis is very good for an injury like this, it is much better than having bone chips in the knee.
“The convalescence period matches up perfectly with the planned spell that she was having so it will not have any impact on our plans for the Spring Carnival.”
Smerdon has also sent his other Blue Diamond runner, 11th placed Thurlow to the paddock after she was beaten over 11 lengths on Saturday.
“Craig Williams said he was in a good spot and a horse came off the inside and flattened him and she was gone from there,” he explained.
It wasn’t all bad news for the stable however with Smerdon enjoying a high earlier on the card when stablemates Shamal Wind and Under The Louvre ran the quinella in the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) in an upset.