OTI Racing’s leading Australian Cup hopeful My Quest For Peace will not be seen during the 2013 Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival after it was discovered they are suffering from a lung infection.
The imported Galileo stallion, previously prepared in Britain by leading horseman Luca Cumani, was to have their maiden campaign for Victoria’s Peter Moody this season in Melbourne with the $1 million Group 1 Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) on March 9 their main aim.
My Quest For Peace, a dual Group 3 winner in the UK, debuted down under when still prepared by Cumani during the spring with a close first-up fifth beaten only one and a half lengths by the then reigning Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden in the Caulfield Cup.
They were then a competitive 10th only 6.5 lengths off Green Moon in last year’s edition of the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November.
It was all systems go for the autumn after a nice spell, My Quest For Peace having had a solid jumpout last week, but their campaign has now been cancelled due to the discovery of an infected lung after they failed to pull up well after that hitout.
“We didn’t want to take a risk with him,” OTI director Terry Henderson said.
“We’ve decided to take the conservative route rather than rush him back and give him a break and then have him ready for the spring.”
The loss of My Quest For Peace from OTI’s Melbourne Festival of Racing contingent came as another blow for the operation who also had to pull the pin on the preparation of Queensland Derby winner Brambles who suffered a tendon injury last month.
“Obviously having both Brambles and My Quest For Peace out of the Festival of Racing is disappointing,” Henderson added.
OTI could still be represented in this year’s Australia Cup field with the Mick Price-trained Dany The Fox who has won four of their 10 starts to date, and imported Peintre Celebre stallion Prairie Star both nominated for the classic.
The now Danny O’Brien-trained Prairie Star is set to return to racing in the $150,000 Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) at Caulfield on February 9 while the lightly-raced Dany The Fox races at the track this Saturday following a 2.5 length win at Sandown first-up on January 9.
Other OTI autumn hopes include Geelong Cup winner Gatewood who is now prepared by Sydney’s ace trainer Chris Waller, and of course the Moody-trained Manighar who kicks off their autumn campaign in the $220,000 Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on March 9 looking to repeat their historic Group 1 triple from last year when they won the Australian Cup – Ranvet Stakes – The BMW triple.