The stars are dropping like flies from the 2014 Belmont Sprint in Perth this weekend, with the latest scratching being Rohan whose track future is now in serious doubt.
Vaughn Sigley’s Blackfriars five-year-old was looking good for a return in Saturday’s $125,000 Group 3 Belmont Sprint (1400m) but injured a sesamoid bone at trackwork on Wednesday.
Not only will they now miss the Belmont Sprint but the gelding’s race career could also now be over.
A winner of five of their 18 starts for over half a million in prize money, Rohan was a $61,000 yearling buy from the Perth Magic Millions Sales four years ago.
Best known for their Group 2 W.A.T.C. Derby (2400m) victory as a three-year-old in 2012, Rohan was one of last season’s Perth Summer Racing Carnival’s most consistent performers.
They ran top three in five of their seven runs including their close third when under a length away from winner Ihtsahymn in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m) in early December.
Their latest run was in the Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) on January 1 when finishing right up there again this time beaten one and a half lengths by Black Tycoon.
They won a Lark Hill trail over 1450m on May 19 in a easy victory over Rio Rancher and looked good for another big campaign until their off foreleg injury.
Scans revealed the seriousness of the problem which will see Rohan need a full 12 months away from racing to recover if connections didn’t retire them sooner.
It’s the same leg that had tendon issues from mid-June of 2012 through until October last year when they spent a lengthy stint of over a year on the sidelines.
“He’s pulled a small piece off his sesamoid bone,” Sigley told The West Australian.
“He’ll be out now and it’s up to the owners to make a decision on what to do.
“I’d say he’s a 50-50 chance of racing again. The tendon is fine and there is no other damage.
“Glen Kettlewell (managing owner) said the horse’s quality of life is their biggest priority.”
Along with Rohan, this year’s Belmont Sprint field also lost its drawcard contender Luckygray to injury.
Trevor Andrews’ triple Group 1 winning son of Bradbury’s Luck suffered superficial wounds to their legs after getting away from their handler during a visit to Ascot’s equine pool this week.
While the injuries alone weren’t serious enough to stop them racing in the Belmont Sprint, which they won two years ago, the fact they hand to be treated for them meant they were scratched out.
Luckygray was the 61kg top-weight of the entries and was a notable withdrawal along with the only other horse allocated above the minimum, Magnifisio (55.5kg).
Jim Taylor’s Magnus mare Magnifisio has won her past five on the trot including the Group 3 Roma Cup (1200m) last time out at Belmont Park where Luckygray finished half a length away fourth.
While her form is outstanding, Magnifisio was scratched with Taylor not wanting her to lump the new 58kg top-weight having originally tipped her to receive about 56.5kg.
That challenge now belongs to the Fred Kersley-trained Grand Nirvana and the Adam Durrant-trained Ranger.
Following in the Belmont Sprint weights is then Settle Strada (55.5kg), David Harrison’s Strada five-year-old looking to bounce back from a dead last in the Roma Cup.
In a bid to see them improve on that Harrison will add blinkers and ear muffs for the Belmont Sprint.
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