Ciaron Maher‘s Group 1 winner Bon Aurum will be sidelined for the entire Melbourne Spring Carnival because of recurring knee injuries.
Bon Aurum joined the Group 1 winners club with a solid victory in the $500,000 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield during the 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival.
The Bon Hoffa four year old then had one more run in the Spring and after finishing fourteenth to Le Romain in the Group 1 $1m Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival was found to have a chip in his knee.
A Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign was subsequently ruled out after Bon Aurum had to undergo surgery again for chipped bones in the knee meaning a shot at the Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben was off the table.
Part owner and breeder Ken King said that Bon Aurum was going as good as ever before the knee injury halted his progress for a second time and the four year old stallion will now be given plenty of time to recover and hopefully be ready to contest the major sprints in the 2018 Autumn Carnival.
“He won a trial at Sandown a few days before he was due to fly north for the Stradbroke, which was his target, and he pulled up with a couple of chips in his knee. We were pretty excited about the trial, but then found out the next day he couldn’t walk.
“He had chips removed from his knee, which he’s had problems with in the past with. The surgeon doesn’t think there’s anything structurally wrong with the horse – it’s just bad luck.
“We’ve decided to give him a good six months off; he’ll be aimed at the Sydney autumn and the winter in Queensland. Hopefully he’ll come back and perform well then.”
King said that Bon Aurum still has a bright future and should come back better as a five year old in the Autumn and the Winter next year.
“He’s still only young and most Bon Hoffa’s tend to mature with age and race on. Bon Hoffa himself didn’t win his G1 until he was a five-year-old,” King said.
“He’s probably done a good job to be a winner at two and a Stakes winner at three and four.
“If he comes back sound, you would think he would improve and go on with it.
“I think he’s one of the better 1400m horses in the country.”
Bon Aurum is the winner of five races plus three minor placings from fifteen starts with prizemoney earnings just under the $560,000 mark.