The field for 2017 Group 1 $1.5m Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday has been reduced to eleven runners following the scratching of the Darren Weir trained Real Love.
Real Love was at double figure odds around the $17 mark and her withdrawal has made minimum effect on the market order at Ladbrorkes.com.au with the Ciaron Maher trained Jameka still holding down the top spot at $4 just ahead of Real Love’s stablemate Humidor at $4.30.
Real Love would have been lining up for her fourth Autumn Carnival outing in the Australian Cup but Weir said the six year old mare wasn’t looking one hundred per cent on Friday morning.
“We just weren’t happy with her this morning,” Weir told RSN 927’s Racing Pulse.
“She just wasn’t herself. There’s something coming on there I think so hopefully we can get on top of it over the next couple of days and we can get her back on track.”
“She is a great doing horse and there was just a bit of feed left in the feed bin this morning so it is the sign of something coming on.”
Weir is hoping for a quick recovery and will aim Real Love towards the Group 1 $650,000 Hardy Brothers Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 20 during the Queensland Winter Carnival.
“She ran really well at the Queensland Carnival last year so probably the Doomben Cup now,” Weir said.
“It is probably the race we need to focus on now.”
Weir still has a very strong hand in the Australian Cup with the second favourite Humidor and the in-form Stratum Star who is also well in the betting at $6.
Damian Lane rides Humidor again after steering him into second place at his last two starts at Caulfield in the Group 3 $150,000 The Resimax TS Carlyon Cup (1600m) on February 11 and in the Group 2 $200,000 Crown Lager Peter Young Stakes (1800m) on February 25 behind Stratum Star.
Stratum Star is racing in outstanding form with wins from his last three starts with Lane in the saddle for his wins in the Group 1 $1m Peters Investments-Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot in Perth over the Summer and in the $1m Moet & Chandon Magic Millions Trophy (2200m) at the Gold Coast on January 14, before Australian Cup rider Mark Zahra took over the reins for his win in the Peter Young Stakes.