James McDonald will be hoping for a quick return...
In a tragic turn of events at Flemington this morning, last year’s Golden Slipper champion Crystal Lily has died during a track gallop from a suspected hemorrhage, three-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss subsequently hospitalised and ruled out of riding hot favourite Smart Missile in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes tomorrow.
Media in Melbourne have confirmed that four-year-old Stratum mare Crystal Lily, winner of the world’s richest juvenile race last year, collapsed and died during a routine piece of trackwork at Flemington Racecourse on Friday morning.
As well as being a devastating event for all those involved with Crystal Lily, the mare’s untimely death has also had a dramatic impact on tomorrow’s $350,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).
Boss, who was aboard Crystal Lily at the time of her death, has been sent to hospital with a shoulder injury, and has been ruled out from riding at tomorrow’s Caulfield race meeting.
“He’s just lying there pretty sore and sorry,” Boss’ riding manager Rhys Murphy said from the hospital this morning.
“It’s only his left shoulder that seems to be damaged at the moment, all the other parts of his body seem to be right at the moment.
“But he definitely won’t be riding tomorrow.”
Booked for seven rides on the eight-race programme, Boss’ prized mount on Saturday was to have been aboard Anthony Cummings’ gun three-year-old Smart Missile in the 2011 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
The $3.60 favourite at Luxbet to win their Melbourne debut tomorrow, Smart Missile is now without a rider, Cummings on the search for a replacement jockey that can ride the Missile on their 53kg minimum weight.
Possible jockeys now in contention for the ride include Stephen Baster, James Winks and Brett Prebble.
Crystal Lily, who was prepared by Flemington-based horsemen Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra, was one of racing’s most impressive and consistent female sprinters.
She started 15 times over her career for four wins and seven minor placings amassing an impressive $2,695,000 in prize money for connections.
Beaten four times successively at elite level by the world’s best Black Caviar during her summer – autumn campaign earlier this year, Crystal Lily also ran second in the Group 1 The Goodwood at Morphettville.
She resumed this season in what was the ideal first-up run to finish a mere nose away second to Queensland raider Buffering in the Group 3 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley.
Crystal Lily was due to race in Friday week’s Group 1 Manikato Stakes at the Valley and becomes the fourth well-known thoroughbred to die suddenly in recent weeks following the passing away for Cedarberg (Moonee Valley), Conquering (Tasmania) and Delago’s Lad (Mornington).
To see how the jockey change affects the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes betting markets, head to Luxbet.
Remember, whatever is happening in the world of racing good or bad, one thing that remains consistent is the great odds at Luxbet.
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