Top three-year-old stayer Fiveandahalfstar has been ruled out of Saturday’s Group 1 $1.5 million 2013 Australian Derby (2400m) after succumbing to a sprained fetlock.
The Anthony Cummings-trained gelding sustained the injury during his powerful front-running performance to beat the older horses in the Group 1 $2.25 million BMW on Saturday.
Cummings said the dual Group 1 winner will now be spelled before being brought back for a spring campaign.
Fiveandahalfstar won the Victoria Derby in the spring and prior to Saturday’s BMW victory chalked up four autumn runner-up finishes including in the Group 1 Australian Cup and Ranvet Stakes.
His withdrawal ends the prospect of a mouth-watering clash with classy colt It’s A Dundeel who is set to start an odds-on favourite in the three-year-old staying feature.
The New Zealand colt has been in stunning form this autumn and will be out to complete the three-year-old triple crown after previously taking out the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas.
The only query with the favourite appears to be a step up to 2400m as he finished a lacklustre seventh in the Victoria Derby over 2500m.
Despite being New Zealand trained, It’s A Dundeel has run nine of his 10 career starts in Australia, spending plenty of time at the Warwick Farm stables of trainer Murray Baker’s son Bjorn.
In the spring the son of High Chaparral announced his star quality when winning the Spring Champion Stakes but has confirmed it with dominant performances this autumn.
Others in line to contest the Derby include Tulloch Stakes winner Philippi and fellow Victorian Hvasstan.
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