Leading Australian trainer David Hayes has suffered a devastating set back in the past 24 hours with the death of two of his esteemed imports and hopefuls for this year?s 150th Melbourne Cup.
Hayes, going for back to back success in tomorrow?s $1million Group 1 Australian Cup, tragically lost Our Aqaleem, who was engaged to start in the rescheduled feature at Flemington tomorrow, and Changingoftheguard.
On Wednesday four-year-old Changingoftheguard underwent a normally minor operation to be gelded but suffered complications and died during surgery at Lindsey Park, and then yesterday Our Aqaleem fractured their shoulder in a track gallop and subsequently had to be put down.
Looking towards tomorrow?s Australian Cup, Hayes remains positive he can win as he still has three top gallopers lining up in Growl, Zagreb and Extra Zero. Danzero colt Extra Zero stands as Hayes? best chance currently at $13 with Ladbrokes.com.au, followed by five-year-old Zagreb at $15 and Hobart Cup winner Growl, the roughie at $41.
Favourites for the 2010 Australian Cup are the Mick Price-trained Heart Of Dreams at $6 and Zipping at $7.
In other news racing news leading up to the weekend?s Group 1 features, the Peter Moody-trained Hanks has landed safely in Sydney set to contest the Group 1 Randwick Guineas tomorrow and has officially been scratched from the Australian Guineas at Flemington, for which the Encosta De Lago gelding had also been paid up for.