Silverball has been scratched from the 2015 Epsom Handicap on vets advice after being found with a sore foot this morning.
Silverball had been well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick this afternoon after he finished a close second in the Listed Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 29 and took out the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) at the same venue on September 12, but trainer Chris Waller said that he was not willing to risk running the imported galloper in the Epsom Handicap if he was not at peak physical condition.
“He has a sore foot,” Waller said.
“It was a 50/50 call.
“He worked fine this morning, we trotted him up on the hard ground just as a precaution with all of our runners and I wasn’t happy with the way that he was trotting out.
“Under the pressures of racing it might be fine because the adrenaline pumps in, but if they are not 100 percent when they are trotting on a hard surface they are not going to be right.
“I pulled him out, it is as simple as that.”
The scratching of Silverball has changed the 2015 Epsom Handicap betting market slightly, but his stablemate Winx still remains a clear favourite.
Winx opened as a dominant Epsom Handicap favourite after she returned to the races with a fast-finishing victory in the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill Garden on September 12, but there hasn’t been a great deal of support for the talented mare in the last 24 hours and she has drifted from $2.80 out to $3.
Sadler’s Lake is currently on the second line of Epsom Handicap betting markets and he is out to $7 after being available at $6 yesterday afternoon.
The High Chaparral gelding has recorded two wins from as many starts this preparation and he will step-up to a mile for the first time this preparation after he took out the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 19.
One of the best-backed runners in the 2015 Epsom Handicap has been talented mare Lucia Valentina, who has been backed from $9 into $7.50 in the last 24 hours.
Lucia Valentina has not recorded a race win for 12 months, but she is ticking over nicely after performing well in both the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 5 and the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at the same venue on September 19.
The only other horse that is available at single figure Epsom Handicap odds is Entirely Platinum, who has been backed from $10 into $8.50.
Entirely Platinum is still chasing a maiden win at Group 1 level, but he brings strong form into the Epsom Handicap after he finished in the placings in both the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29 and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 12.
There has been a sprinkling of support for Messene ($21 into $18) and Sweynesse ($16 into $15) in the Epsom Handicap betting market with Ladbrokes, while Ecuador ($26 out to $31), Sons Of John ($16 out to $19) and Teronado ($61 out to $81) have all been on the drift.