The 2011 spring racing carnival is over for the Mark Kavanagh trained December Draw after sustaining a fractured leg in the Caulfield Cup.
December Draw was a clear cut favourite for the 2011 Caulfield Cup but the result couldn’t have been worse as he tailed off last down the straight after being eased up by jockey Michael Rodd.
Post race stewards cleared him of any injury and said they couldn’t find a reason as to why he performed like he did.
The trainer new better though with Kavanagh insisting the horse wasn’t right, his fears confirmed on Sunday.
Kavanagh says it was plain to see the next morning the horse was in pain as they took him out of his box for a light trot.
He was re-examined by vets and the issue was found in a small bone in his rear leg.
“Often you don’t get these things surface until they cool off,” he said.
“It’s tough for a trainer to walk out of the track after what happened and for everybody to say, ‘We can’t find much wrong with him’.
“The horse did not do enough work for his heartbeat to be like it was. He was in pain. It was a stress blow after the race.”
Kavanagh has come to terms with the fact the 2011 spring carnival is now over and has reset his targets to deep into next year.
Exactly when we’ll see December Draw back in action remains to be seen however the autumn seems to be off the cards.
In fact the earliest possible return now could be the Brisbane winter carnival or potentially even longer into the new season.
“It will take four to five months to get him rolling again,” Kavanagh said.
“Unless you considered the Brisbane carnival, and that may be something, but to get his stuff together we’re looking at next spring.”
The plus side is that when he does return to the track it’s expected he will be able to run just as impressively as he did during the peak of his form this time in.
“It is not a ligament that has been pulled or has been hurt by normal wear and tear. It is an accident that has happened,” Kavanagh said.
“From what the vet has seen before, he expects the horse to make a full recovery.
“We’ve got the facilities at my farm to put him in a box and look after him and put him in a small yard during the day where it is grassed.”
December Draw fast became the horse of the moment this preparation after rising from an unknown status to becoming one of the most dominant horses of the carnival.
After winning the Naturalism Stakes he moved on to the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes to claim his maiden top level title in a gutsy finish against Glass Harmonium.
He was the clear favourite for the 2011 Caulfield Cup but the injury meant he could challenge in the race which was ultimate won by four year old mare Southern Speed.
She was the market mover all week with online bookmaker Luxbet coming in from well beyond $20 to only just sit in double figures by the time the race jumped.
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