2012 Reaan Plate Scratching The Big Steel’s Autumn Under Cloud

After dominating early markets for the Reaan Plate 2012 at Caulfield this Saturday, the Matt Laurie-trained The Big Steel has been scratched from the race due to muscle soreness leaving an eight-horse field in the Mornington Cup Prelude and the withdrawn galloper’s autumn racing campaign in doubt.

Accepted to contest Caulfield Race 7 tomorrow the $100,000 Listed Reaan Plate (2000m), also known as the Mornington Cup Prelude, Urgent Request five-year-old The Big Steel was the $3.80 Luxbet favourite.

Mornington-based Laurie, however, has been forced to withdraw them from the race with the gelding suffering muscle tenderness, the popular grey also now set to miss their home town cup Wednesday week.

They are one of two early scratchings from the race along with #6 Sean Baile Mor.

“The horse just isn’t right,” Laurie said.

“He hurt himself last run when he cut his hock quite badly and, while that is not an issue now, he may have compensated and done something else in the meantime.

“It is hard to diagnose but there appears to be muscle soreness or something else going on.”

The $200,000 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) on February 15 would have been a lucrative carrot for The Big Steel, and would also have been a good guide for Laurie on the horse’s Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival prospects.

Whether The Big Steel, whose biggest career win to date came at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day in a $100,000 feature during the Melbourne Cup Carnival of 2010, will be right to race again anytime in the autumn is now under a cloud of doubt.

“I don’t think it is long term (the injury) but time is something we don’t have a lot of at the moment,” Laurie said.

“It is very disappointing and our plans are in doubt for sure.”

With The Big Steel out of the 2012 Reaan Plate this weekend, odds on the remaining hopefuls have all come in with Bolton the narrow $3.40 favourite over Cindy Alderson’s Christmas Cup winner Sea Galleon ($3.80 Luxbet) and Dean Howard’s classy Cranbourne galloper Royal Mail ($4 Luxbet).

Darwin visitor Bolton comes off a smart win at Flemington over the 1700m, but Saturday will be the Zabeel five-year-olds first look at the 2000m since March last year when they were raced in Victoria under Robert Hickmott.

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Updated 2012 Reaan Plate – Mornington Cup Prelude Odds

Caulfield Race 7 – 04/02/2012

# Horse (Barrier) Odds*
1 SEA GALLEON (2) 3.80 Luxbet
2 THE BIG STEEL (5)
3 MONTGOMERY (8) 26.00 Luxbet
4 ROYAL MAIL (4) 4.00 Luxbet
5 BOLTON (1) 3.40 Luxbet
6 SEAN BAILE MOR (10)
7 APRES (5) 6.50 Luxbet
8 SEGURO (3) 18.00 Luxbet
9 TIGERIFFIC (7) 81.00 Luxbet
10 UMATIC (6) 21.00 Luxbet

*Fixed Win Odds provided by Luxbet and subject to change