Caulfield horseman Mick Price has had his Cox Plate 2011 aspirations dashed with a knee injury ruling his talented six-year-old Heart Of Dreams out of contention for the remainder of the Sydney and Melbourne Spring Racing Carnivals.
Dual Group 1 winning Show A Heart gelding Heart Of Dream suffered the season-ending injury when running four lengths away sixth behind 2011 Melbourne Cup-bound Kiwi Lion Tamer in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), a race they won back in 2009, at Caulfield last Saturday.
Scans revealed an abnormality in Heart Of Dreams knee, despite the galloper originally looking to have come through the race without issue.
“It may explain why he pulled in the run more than usual but he didn’t pull up badly,” Price said.
“I had a look at him yesterday morning and he was fine and we trotted him up this morning and he was fine but my vet took an x-ray and found a small line of degeneration in one bone in the knee which he wasn’t happy with so we need to spell him.”
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Heart Of Dreams was two runs into a spring preparation aimed at the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22, having previously been defeated by a mere nose when second behind the Peter Moody-trained King’s Rose in the Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on August 27.
Price is now without a nominee for the Cox Plate 2011, but expects Heart Of Dreams to make a full recovery in time for the autumn next year and could be given the chance to defend his title in the Group 2 St George Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield in February.
“It is disappointing but that is the game,” Price said.
“You suck it up and move on.
“It is too much of a risk to go on with him but he can definitely comeback.
“I think he will be back in the autumn.”
Heart Of Dreams also had their spring campaign cut short 12 months ago having pulled up sore and subsequently been spelled after their seventh to So You Think in the 2010 Underwood Stakes.
Early this season Price’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic winning mare Aloha was also ruled out of the spring after pulling up lame following her 16th place finish behind Lone Rock in the Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 3.
Weights for the $500,000 Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 1 will likely be readjusted as Heart Of Dreams was the 58kg topweight of the nominees.
The horse was rated a $41 chance for the Cox Plate at Luxbet and was paying $31 in the Epsom Handicap odds.
With Heart Of Dreams out of the Epsom, Chris Waller’s imported galloper My Kingdom Of Fife is the new 57.5kg topweight.
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