The 2011 Melbourne Cup dream has been extinguished for the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas-trained Rebel Raider with the chances of the six-year-old ever returning to the track under serious doubt after they retriggered a previous sesamoid injury.
Reset stallion Rebel Raider was scratched from the Listed Penny Edition Stakes at Morphettville last Saturday, the race subsequently won by one-time Melbourne Cup favourite Alcopop, causing concern among connections that they would be fit for a stint at the Group riches in Victoria this spring.
Later scans have since confirmed the worst, Rebel Raider found to have broken a ligament away from the seasamoid which rules him out of racing not only for this spring carnival but possibly forever due to his age.
“I’m not saying he is finished but he probably is because he will be a seven-year-old next year,” a disheartened Macdonald said.
“I’m disappointed, but I’m not as devastated as I was last year.
“We knew there was a chance this could happen again.”
Rebel Raider was last seen running a game first-up fourth to Uxorious in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on August 6, which may prove to have been their swansong appearance.
They had only just been bought back to the stables after earlier being retired, but an appropriate stud for the Group 1 winner to stand at could not be found.
“He wouldn’t have come back if they could have found a decent stud for him and now it looks like we are in the same boat again,” Macdonald said.
Throughout an illustrious 21-start career Rebel Raider twice won at the highest level with victories in the 2009 South Australian Derby and 2008 Victoria Derby at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Rebel Raider would have been given a chance at the ‘race that stops a nation’ but ongoing injuries ruled them out of contention for both the 2009 and 2010 Melbourne Cups.
“It was devastating last year when he fractured the bottom part of his sesamoid and it was touch and go this year,” Macdonald said.
“It healed up all right but a ligament has come a bit adrift from the bottom of the sesamoid which was probably on the cards when he was put under real pressure.”
In total the galloper, who was being prepared for a possible start in the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 1 this spring, enjoyed six career wins and four minor placings to earn over $1.4 million in prize money.
While it is bad news for Rebel Raider, there is still an imposing list of stayers heading towards the Melbourne Cup 2011 that punters can bet on right now through Luxbet.
Mares currently dominate the Melbourne Cup betting markets at Luxbet, while Penny Edition stakes winner Alcopop has risen to a $35 chance.