Roi D’Jeu in Doubt for 2012 Stayers Cup

Exciting Kiwi galloper Roi D’Jeu could be scratched from the Stayers Cup 2012 at Rosehill this Saturday with trainer Craig Ritchie advising Racing NSW stewards that the six-year-old is suffering from a mild foot abscess to the off fore hoof.

While the Montjeu gelding was cleared by Ritchie’s stable veterinarian, Racing NSW veterinary officers will inspect the horse on Saturday morning before they line up in the $100,000 Listed Stayers Cup (3200m).

Ritchie noticed the problem when Roi D’Jeu struggled in a gallop on Wednesday morning, the trainer worried it won’t be healed in time for the race fit horse to line-up in Saturday’s testing two mile showdown.

The problem with foot abscesses is a couple of days later they can come back and bite you,” Ritchie said.

“He galloped quite good yesterday morning but then he just pulled up a little bit short.

“It’s not major but it was up under the heel and under the shoe.

“He’s done a fair bit of swimming, he’s had a trot and a canter this morning, seems a hundred per cent now and he hasn’t really missed any work he got his main gallop in on Tuesday so I’m not really concerned about his fitness.

“It just depends on his foot.”

Running as Rosehill Race 5 at 1:45pm the Stayers Cup field features nine gallopers with the markets led by Gai Waterhouse’s $1.95 favourite Reuben Percival.

Roi D’Jeu, drawn in barrier four with Brenton Avdulla to ride, can be found further down the Stayers Cup odds at a quote of $14.

A winner of eight of their 31 career starts to date the horse hasn’t won a race since their Thames Cup victory over 2000-metres in January when prepared in New Zealand by Shaune Ritchie.

They have had three runs this time in most recently finishing five and a half lengths away fifth to Reuben Percival in the Listed Winter Cup (2400m) at Warwick Farm in the wet back on June 2.

One thing firmly in their favour for Saturday should they make the race is Roi D’Jeu’s two previous runs over the 3200-metres on the other side of the Tasman.

First was their close fourth to Showcause in the 2010 NZ Cup, and more recently they finished a credible seventh to Titch in last year’s Group 1 Auckland Cup when ridden by Craig Williams.

“He’s had two cracks at it and although he didn’t really see it out, his form over two miles is behind some relatively good horses,” Ritchie said.

“I think they were at Ellerslie and Riccarton, those tracks are pretty testing, they’re probably more like Randwick than Rosehill.”

The other major players in the Stayers Cup betting markets this year are the Peter Snowden-trained WJ McKell Cup winner Adroitly ($3) and $12 chance Reigning last seen running eighth to Brambles in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) on Stradbroke Day.

Despite the short price on Reuben Percival it is Adroitly who Ritchie has tipped as the biggest danger.

“I think Adroitly ‘s dead-set the horse to beat,” he said.

“He’s a smart horse on his day. With a genuine run race I think Adroitly is probably a little bit underestimated.”

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