Exciting Kiwi raider Xtravagant has been ruled out of a return in Saturday’s Listed Chandler Macleod Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley after returning an elevated temperature over the weekend.
Posting an impressive career total of six wins and a minor through only ten competitive starts, Xtravagant more than stamped himself as a colt to follow through a summer and autumn campaign in New Zealand this year; peaking with a dominant eight length win in the Group 1 NRM Sprint (1400m) on February 13th.
Failing to justify his resounding favouritism when fading for eighth in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 5th, the son of Pentire returned to his homeland for an impressive win in the Group 3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) on April 30th.
Co-trainers Jamie Richards and Stephen Autridge have been thrilled with Xtravagant since he returned to Australia a fortnight ago, but a statement released by owners Te Akau revealed that four-year-old experienced a minor setback over the weekend and will not compete in the 2016 Chandler Macleod Stakes.
“Sunday morning, he left a little bit of feed and had a slightly elevated temperature. He was immediately treated for this and by mid-afternoon, his temperature was back to normal,” the statement said.
“Sunday night he cleaned up all of his feed and this morning our co-trainer Steve Autridge said he was back to normal – no temperature and back to his happy self.
“The bottom line is that, with our veterinary team, we do not think it is in Blake’s best interests for us to gallop him Tuesday morning.
“Be assured that this is a disappointment – not a serious problem – just a frustration and an untimely one. This is of course, as you know, what can happen with horses despite the very best care and attention – we all know that they are not machines.”
Xtravagant immediately stamped himself as a colt to follow upon debuting to racing for a near-eight length win in the Niagara’s At Karaka Maiden (1400m) in April last year, before immediately returning to the paddock.
Resuming for third in the Hinuera Lodge 3.Y.O Plate (1200m), Xtravagant took out the Wellington Guineas Trial (1400m) before posting a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) on November 7th.
Xtravagant will be set on a path towards the 2016 Cox Plate (2040m) in October; a race for which he is currently rated a $21 chance in early betting markets with Ladbrokes Australia.