Gwenda Markwell’s shock Winter Cup failure Peal Of Bells will not have to endure a six day back up having officially been scratched from Saturday’s Queensland Cup 2013 at Eagle Farm.
The Clangalang five-year-old was in flying form on June 8 when thrashing their rivals by a minimum seven lengths at Randwick in the $100,000 Stayers Cup (3200m).
They then jumped as one of the top fancies for the $100,000 Listed Winter Cup (2400m) when the Rosehill classic ran on Monday following the weekend’s washout.
Peal Of Bells was 23 days between runs and had winning form from May on a Heavy (8) Warwick Farm track leaving little to suggest they would finish out of the money in the Winter Cup despite the muddy conditions.
Things went badly amiss however and they failed to beat home any of their seven rivals.
And it was no close finish either with 23.5 lengths separating Peal Of Bells and the easy winner Destiny’s Kiss.
Both horses, along with a number of other Winter Cup runners including the second placed Fiumicino, are then entered for next week’s $150,000 Listed Grafton Cup (2350m) on Thursday.
While all looks good for the Joe Pride-trained Destiny’s Kiss, Peal Of Bells is in danger of missing out on a shot in the lucrative feature.
Originally the Kembla Grange-based Markwell had accepted the horse for a shot at the $150,000 Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) in Brisbane this Saturday where they would get the chance to bounce back getting back up to two miles.
However they have now been withdrawn from the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival showdown with a Grafton Cup acceptance also in doubt.
Peal Of Bells must pass a track gallop as well as a thorough veterinary examination before being cleared to run next Thursday, their fitness to be proven between races at their home track (Kembla Grange) on Tuesday.
“Stewards will make a decision as to whether the gelding may then proceed to the Grafton Cup,” a statement from Racing NSW said.
Racing NSW stewards initially wanted Peal Of Bells to perform satisfactorily in an official trial before the Grafton Cup.
However Markwell argued that the only suitable trial over 1000m was on the pro-ride surface at Warwick Farm this Friday, July 5, over 1157m.
She also said that the horse was a dour stayer and had never beaten another runner in an official hit-out which led to the allowance they run between races at Kembla Grange.
Markwell is still at a loss as to why Peal Of Bells failed so badly on Monday.
A contributing factor may have been the fact they missed some crucial lead-up work because of other washed out courses in Sydney over the past few weeks with beach work the only available option to Markwell.
Jockey Robert Thompson meanwhile made a statement that the horse ran flat and in his opinion had been flattened after their massive effort in the Stayers Cup.
Despite their dismal Winter Cup effort the bookies were willing to forgive them that performance as Peal Of Bells was rated the $4 second favouite behind Ibicenco in the Queensland Cup odds before their withdrawal.
The Peter Moody-trained Ibicenco has since firmed in from $2.90 to $2.40.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for more.
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