Trainer Clive Cox has confirmed that star European sprinter Lethal Force will not be coming to Australia for the 2013 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Cox admitted after Lethal Force’s win in the Group 1 July Cup (1207m) that connections were strongly considering bringing the son of Dark Angel to Melbourne for the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9 but he told Sky Sports in the United Kingdom yesterday that those plans had been cancelled after Lethal Force was defeated by Moonlight Cloud in the Prix Maurice de Gheest (1300m) last weekend.
“We were very grateful for the invitation but after lots of consideration, we have decided going to Australia looks a very difficult trip for the horse to encounter, so we’ve declined,” Cox said.
“The horse is having a break after his run at Deauville last weekend.
“He’s already had a very successful season, winning two Group Ones and finishing second in another.
“We’re happy with where we are with the horse and I’m keeping an open mind about where he’ll go from here.”
Lethal Force may not be receiving too much of a break with Cox adding that a trip to the United States for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (1200m) at Santa Anita in November was on the cards for the talented grey.
“We are very much confident he is one of the best sprinters around and if he is giving us the impression that he is still in the same form as he has been in this summer, then we would have to consider it,” Cox said.
Lethal Force laid his claim to the title of the United Kingdom’s best sprinter with a strong two length victory over Society Rock in the 2013 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) during the Royal Ascot meeting and confirmed the crown with his victory over a strong field in the July Cup a fortnight later.
The 2013 Spring Racing Carnival will still have an international presence with a number of European-trained horses set to arrive in Australia next month to contest the Caulfield Cup (2400m), Cox Plate (2040m) and Melbourne Cup (3200m).