Just days after confirming his flying filly Tick Tick Bloom would shoot for the Belmont 3YO Triple Crown with a run in the 2014 Belmont Classic, Lark Hill’s Adam Durrant has had to withdraw the weekend’s draw card contender due to injury.
A bruised hoof will stop the three-year-old Viscount filly’s attempt at a winning Belmont Park hat-trick this season with Tick Tick Bloom to miss Saturday’s $100,000 Listed Belmont Classic (2200m).
It’s a race where she would have jumped odds-on favourite too after winning her past four consecutive starts, all at Belmont, including back-to-back black-types at the track.
Two back she narrowly held off Group performer Midnight Shimmer to win the Listed Belmont Guineas (1600m) before returning a fortnight later for her long neck win over Star Of Husson in the Listed Belmont Oaks (2000m).
Having handled the step up in distance that day, Durrant was confident she would again be firing on all cylinders for the Belmont Classic up over 2200m this weekend.
She won’t get the chance to prove her potential however with Tick Tick Bloom sidelined missing the ultimate battle between the fillies and young colts and geldings to see out her 2013-14 season.
With Tick Tick Bloom to miss the Classic the sure-to-be favourite looks to be the Darren McAuliffe-trained Proceedwithcaution.
There are now 11 hopefuls in the set weights clash, Trade Fair gelding Proceedwithcaution a last start winner who will shoot for successive wins at the course.
After a fifth to Tick Tick Bloom in the Belmont Guineas two back after jumping away slowly from the barriers, the up-and-comer blitzed an easier field of rivals on Belmont Oaks Day.
He raced in the $60,000 Dayana Plate (2000m) and actually posted better time than the Oaks winner with his two and a half length victory over Shalo.
Simon Miller’s Danehill Express gelding Shalo will also back-up in the Belmont Classic this weekend looking to return to the winning form that saw them take out a 1650m race on June 18 before their Dayana Plate second.
Also coming off a top three finish in that race was Dayana third placed Ihtiram grey Shanghai Grey for Brad Graham who hasn’t finished out of the money this winter.
Grant Williams’ Belmont Oaks runner-up Star Of Husson and Cliff Smith’s daughter of Bletchley Park I’m Feeling Lucky who finished third now loom as the best fancied of the fillies in the race.
Fillies have an imposing record in the race too having won three of the past four editions.
Other notable hopes then include More Than Ready filly Mystical Miss who ran third on July 9 at the track over 1650m behind Heart Show and Belmont Oaks fourth placed Trade Fair filly Yaloginda for Daniel Morton.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au to view the official 2014 Belmont Classic final field and barrier draw to be published shortly.
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