Group 1 winning sprinter Atomic Force has been scratched from the Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) field after drawing barrier ten.
The Listed race, which will be run at Caulfield on Saturday, has drawn a strong field and trainer Darren Smith believes coming from an outside gate would be too tough for Atomic Force first-up.
The Danehill Dancer gelding will be saved for an easier race at Rosehill Gardens next weekend as he returns for a potential assault on the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
“He’s drawn wide and there is a race for him up here next week,” Smith told TVN.
“The Monash is quite a strong race, he’s drawn wide and the chances are he’s going to be caught wide so we decided to stay home.
“The horse is very well, but we decided to take an easier route to start off with.”
Atomic Force has not been seen at the races since he finished ninth behind Black Caviar in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April.
The seven-year-old found the going too tough at the highest level of racing during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, finishing tenth behind Snitzerland in the Challenge Stakes (1000m) and seventh in The Galaxy (1100m) before his poor T.J. Smith effort.
The veteran sprinter has not been victorious since his win in the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie in New Zealand on January 1 2012 and his last Australian victory was at Canterbury in the Hylands Kids Colours (1100m) in 2011.
Despite the withdrawal of Atomic Force there is still plenty of talent in the John Monash Stakes field with Group 1 winner Mrs Onassis, classy colt Happy Galaxy and veteran Stanzout all set to take part.
The 2013 Sir John Monash Stakes betting market is now available at bookmaker.com.au with Happy Galaxy the narrow favourite from Mrs Onassis.
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