Anthony Freedman’s ace German import and top fancy for a number of the spring majors, Lucas Cranach has suffered a bone chip and will miss the entire 2012 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The Mamool stallion was equal $21 second favourite with the likes of Americain and Red Cadeaux through bookmaker.com.au to win this year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November, tipped to improve on their close third behind Dunaden in the ‘race that stops a nation’ last year.
“He has another bone chip in the same place as the last injury, which will need to be removed,” Freedman said on his website.
“He’ll miss the spring.”
The news of Lucas Cranach’s absence from racing for the rest of the year, the first major spring casualty, is set to have a big impact on the futures betting markets for not only the Melbourne Cup 2012 but also the $2.65 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20.
Lucas Cranach was rated around $15 in the Caulfield Cup odds that are led by the Mark Kavanagh-trained Atlantic Jewel, the undefeated four-year-old also the top fancy for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley Racecourse seven days after the Caulfield Cup.
Fifth in the Caulfield Cup last year before their Melbourne Cup third, Lucas Cranach has had previous issues with bone chips and has raced just once since the Cup when winning the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day in February.
Freedman remains hopeful of having Lucas Cranach, who requires surgery, back in time for the Hong Kong International Race Day in December but said they wouldn’t push their recovery with the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival also around the corner.
“It’s only a small chip which will be removed easily, so there is still a chance of getting him up for the Hong Kong International series in December,” Freedman said.
“We will be guided by the vets and the horse’s recovery.
“It’s disappointing for all involved as he was coming along nicely, but he’s too good a horse to take any risks with.
“He’s young and lightly raced, and there are many options for him in the autumn if we have to wait until then.”
While the loss of Lucas Cranach for the spring is a big blow for Freedman he still has four Caulfield Cup nominees remaining in 2012, the most notable of which are Mawingo and Val Champ.
Tertullian four-year-old Mawingo, winner of the Doomben Cup in Brisbane during the winter, is the second elect in the Caulfield Cup betting markets behind Atlantic Jewel.
Argentinian star Val Champ, owned by BC3 Thoroughbreds, meanwhile is yet to race down under but is also well liked paying around $26 to take out the Caulfield Cup.
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