Lloyd Williams’ gallant old grey Efficient has been accepted for the Sydney Cup 2012 when the final field was released this morning but there is still a chance they will miss the race with a stewards inspection pending.
The rising nine-year-old son of Zabeel, winner of the 2007 Melbourne Cup, was controversially scratched from the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) at Randwick on April 14 when veterinarians found them to be one grade lame.
Williams was furious over the forced Chairman’s scratching saying the popular galloper suffered from arthritis and that if he wasn’t passed to race in the Sydney Cup he would “go to war”.
As it stands Efficient, last seen running three lengths away fifth to Manighar in the Australian Cup over 2000-metres at Flemington on March 10, is the 58kg topweight of the 16-horse Sydney Cup field.
Vets are scheduled to be sent from the stewards to inspect Efficient on Friday morning after they travel form Melbourne to Sydney to decide whether he can start in the Cup.
“We will wait for the horse to accept and then we will ask the vets to inspect him on Friday,” Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy said.
“Two vets agreed he had grade one to two lameness last time which is not too serious.
“I understand he has gait peculiarities and he will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness.
“He will be able to warm up and not just be pulled out of the raceday stalls.”
If Efficient comes out of the clash then Michael Moroney’s in-form import Drunken Sailor, coming off a good third in The BMW and second favourite in the Sydney Cup odds behind Chris Waller’s Chairman’s Quality winner Permit, will become the new topweight on 57kg.
Also above the 53.5kg minimum this year is third elect Niwot (55.5kg), the Bart Cummings-trained Precedence (55.5kg), Gai Waterhouse’s mare Once Were Wild (55kg), and Waller’s two other runners Hawk Island (55kg) and defending Sydney Cup champ Stand To Gain (54kg).
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