Second favourite Weatherly has been scratched from the Group 3 $200,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) (1100m) at Caulfield today.
Trainer Paul Messara reported that he discovered mucus in Weatherly’s nose, forcing him to miss today’s importanf lead up race to the Group 1 $1.5m Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in a fortnight.
Messara said that if Weatherly makes a speedy recovery, he would run at Flemington next Saturday in the Listed $120,000 Talindert Stakes (1100m) and then head back to Sydney.
Messara has a high opinion of the Beneteau colt and was disappointed that he didn’t perform at his best when he bungled the start on debut when sixth in the Listed $150,000 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preview (C&G) (1000m) at Caulfield on January 26.
“If you watch the replay, he half stumbled coming out and his legs went from underneath him. He’s a very fast horse, he should have been upfront, freewheeling for home,” Messara said.
Before he was scratched from the Blue Diamond Prelude, Weatherly was marked on the second line of betting at $4.80 at Ladbrokes.com.au, and was challenging the Mick Price trained Flying Artie, $4.40, for favouritism.
With the scratching of Weatherly, Flying Artie is now marked at $3.50 with Team Hawkes trained Star Turn taking up the second place in the market order at $4.60 ahead of John O’Shea’s Cohesion at $6.
Even with the scratching of Weatherly, Flying Artie still has the job ahead from the outside barrier fourteen and a win today will see him tighten up in the Blue Diamond Stakes betting.
Damien Oliver takes the ride on Flying Artie today and will decide after the race if he sticks with the Artie Schiller colt for the Blue Diamond Stakes or choose to ride stablemate Extreme Choice who he rode to a very impressive victory in the Group 3 $150,000 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield on February 6.
Extreme Choice is currently the $2.50 favourite for the Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au with Flying Artie marked at $11.
Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Flying Artie, $4.60 Star Turn, $6 Cohesion, $11 Power Trip, $13 Revolving Door, El Venetian, $14 Ocean Grove, $17 Capanello, $18 Lionhearted, $19 Bullion Wolf, $26 China Dream, $41 Ambitious Ex, $81 Los Cabos, $101 Black Energy