Smart sprinter Richie’s Vibe’s Autumn Carnival kick off has been delayed after trainer Paul Beshara was forced to scratch him from the Group 2 $200,000 Jeep Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Richie’s Vibe was set to defend his Australia Stakes title after beating Peter Moody’s Group 1 winner Moment Of Change and track specialist It Is Written twelve months ago.
But Beshara had to put Autumn Carnival plans on hold after Richie’s Vibe developed pool colic following an early morning swim on Thursday.
The five year old had to be treated for the ailment giving Beshara no choice but to scratch.
“He was in the pool and just got a bit of pool colic and had to have a bit of treatment,” Beshara told AAP.
Beshara will monitor Richie’s Vibe’s recovery before making a revised Autumn Carnival program.
The lightly raced gelding has won five races from fourteen starts and his only attempt at Group 1 level resulted in a well beaten fifteenth behind Lankan Rupee in the 2014 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield during last year’s Autumn Carnival.
With the scratching of Richie’s Vibe the Moody trained Dissident has firmed into $1.80 with Ladbrokes.com.au to be a clear cut favourite for the Australia Stakes.
On the second line of betting is the three year old Tudor at $5.50 just ahead of the consistent Hard Stride at $6 and It Is Written at $8.
Dissident will be having his first race start since suffering a bleeding attack when sixth behind Fawkner in the Group 1 $400,000 Cathay Pacific Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield last October.
But the three time Group 1 winner has come through his preparation in fine style and regular jockey Ben Melham, who been aboard the four year old in recent track work, is pleased with the stallion heading into the Australia Stakes.
“I’m really happy with the way he’s come back, he’s had a couple of soft trials,” Melham said.
“He’s never been a great track worker, but put the blinkers on race day and he’s a different horse.
Dissident is due to take up stud duties at Newgate Farm in the Hunter Valley in the Spring.