A mystery lameness that has forced the scratching of Rising Red from the Group 2 $200,000 Power Distribution Australia Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday could spell the end of an Australian Derby campaign for Kiwi three year old.
Rising Red is one of the top fancies for the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 1, day one of ‘The Championships’, but if co-trainer Trent Busuttin can’t find a quick fix for the Redwood gelding, he will have to put him away until the Spring.
“We’re still not exactly sure what is wrong with him, but he appears lame in the near-fore and you have to be at 100 per cent to win at that level,” Busuttin told racing.com.
“I can’t see him being able to race in the Derby in just eight days, but we’ll wait to make a final call on the weekend, whether or not he will go on this preparation.”
“Depending how serious this injury is, we might have to put him away until the spring.”
If Busuttin and co-trainer Natalie Young can recuperate Rising Red in the short term, they may be able to head to Adelaide for the Group 1 $600,000 South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville on May 13 or travel north to Brisbane for the Group 1 $600,000 Channel 7 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 10.
Rising Red showed his staying potential when the former Kiwi trainers now based at Cranbourne, took him back to New Zealand to run second to Gingernuts in the Group 1 NZ$1m New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on March 4.
The Stephen Autridge and James Richards trained Gingernuts proved the form line to be very strong when he strolled away in the mud to win the Group 1 $600,000 Sky Racing Rosehill Guineas (2000m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
The scratching of Rising Red from the Tulloch Stakes now leaves Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon ($3.40) and the Kiwi colt Jon Snow ($3.70) battling it out for favouritism at Ladbrokes.com.au.
On the third line of betting is the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Acatour at $7 ahead of Honeywine and Wine Bush at $9.50.
Prized Icon is set to back up in the Tulloch Stakes after failing to fire last week when tenth to Gingernuts in the Rosehill Guineas while the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Jon Snow is having his first run back since running third to Gingernuts in the New Zealand Derby.