Gerald Ryan’s gun four-year-old Rothesay has been ruled out of the 2010 Epsom Handicap due to adverse health.
The $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) is the marquee race at Randwick this Saturday, but Queensland Guineas winner Rothesay will not be among the field of runners.
The son of Fastnet Rock was found to have an elevated temperature over the weekend after a virus broke out in Ryan’s stable, with connections ruling him out of the handicap feature.
A dose of antibiotics and a short rest should see the promising galloper return to health in time to take on the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival on November 6, according to Ryan.
Rothesay’s withdrawal from the Epsom has seen premier online bookie Sportsbet reshuffle their markets, with the Peter Snowden-trained Drumbeats now the $6.50 favourite.
Winner of the Bill Ritchie Handicap last weekend at Randwick, Redoute’s Choice five-year-old Drumbeats was originally targeting the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 9.
Snowden, however, is now seriously considering starting Drumbeats in the Epsom after the news previous favourite Rothesay will not contest the event.
Drumbeats has been allocated just 52kg in the Epsom, making him the perfect lightweight chance to win.
Epsom Handicap topweight with 59.5kg was Gai Waterhouse’s Theseo, who has also been withdrawn from the race set to miss the remainder of the spring carnival after a lacklustre run in the George Main Stakes last Saturday.
Other horses high up in the weights that could join the list of defectors include Chris Waller’s triple Group 1 winner Danleigh (59kg) and Metal Bender (58.5kg).
Other early favourites in the Epsom Handicap betting at Sportsbet are Neeson paying $7 who is another excellent chance with just 52kg if the weights are not raised, and John Thompson’s George Main Stakes runner-up Trusting at $8.
In other 2010 Epsom Handicap news the Con Karakatsanis-trained Black Piranha has been confirmed as a starter currently paying a generous $17 to win.
To be ridden by Nash Rawiller, Black Piranha ran flat second-up last weekend finishing fifth in the George Main Stakes but should be back to form by this Saturday.
Meanwhile Bart Cummings’ seven-year-old Empires Choice will bypass the Epsom and head straight to Melbourne after running an eye-catching third to More Joyous in the George Main.
Cummings expressed concerns over Empires Choice breaking down if it were to run at Randwick, which Cummings described as a “disgraceful track”.
The 2010 Epsom Handicap final field is released tomorrow and we will publish the list of acceptors right here so bookmark this page.
In the meantime check out the early odds available on your favourites at Ladbrokes.com.au, who guarantee their punters a better price than at the TAB!