Darren Weir’s flying four-year-old Trust In A Gust has been scratched from today’s Crystal Mile 2014 on Cox Plate Day with a minor foot ailment.
The Keep The Faith stallion was one of nine final acceptors for this year’s $200,000 Group 2 Schweppes Crystal Mile (1600m), the weight-for-age showdown running as Moonee Valley Race 6 at 4:10pm (AEDT) this afternoon.
Winner of the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes – Toorak Handicap double in his latest two starts, Trust In A Gust was the clear $2.40 market favourite in the Crystal Mile odds at Ladbrokes.com.au at the time of his withdrawal.
His Ballarat-based trainer Weir however was forced to pull the pin on his Cox Plate Carnival run this morning with foot troubles ruling him out once discovered when Trust In A Gust trotted this morning at home around 7:30am.
The suspected stone bruise is only a slight setback that should take just a few days to overcome however and so hasn’t thrown the entire’s whole Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival into turmoil.
“It’s just a little hiccup, he went for a trot and he wasn’t trotting up properly,” Weir told RSN radio this morning.
“It is a bit disappointing for the owners but to be honest about it, I don’t think anyone can be complaining, they’ve had a great ride.
“We’ll just monitor what happens over the next few days, if it’s only a foot it won’t set him back much.”
He’s still on track then for a shot at the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday November 6, the final day of the coveted Melbourne Cup Carnival.
With Trust In A Gust out the new Crystal Mile favourite is Speediness in from $5 to $3.20 with a nice barrier four draw and Nash Rawiller to ride.
Colin Scott’s veteran Testa Rossa seven-year-old was a distant 13th beating home just one other runner in the Sir Rupert Clarke two back but then improved significantly when up over a mile under a length off Trust In A Gust in the Toorak Handicap at Caulfield on October 11.
Hot on Speediness’s heels in the Crystal Mile odds at $3.90 is then the market mover Hooked who opened earlier in the week at $8.
Drawn on the rails with Craig Williams to ride, the Casino Prince stallion won the Group 3 Cameron Handicap (1500m) at Newcastle two back before a third behind He’s Your Man in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on October 4.
That was his fourth run over the distance, and his sole top three finish, but this four-year-old is on the improve and the Epsom was a huge run so now the only question is how he handles Moonee Valley.
Also at single figures are then the Akavoroun ($6 into $5.50) and Bull Point ($8 into $6.50) drawn in barriers vie and two respectively.
Ciaron Maher’s five-year-old gelding Akavoroun comes via the same two Group 1s as Trust In A Gust and Speediness having run seventh in the Rupert Clarke then fourth, just one length off the winner, in the Toorak Handicap carrying 53kg.
He goes up to 59kg however under today’s weight-for-age conditions so will need to be improving again.
Bull Point meanwhile hails from the star Sydney stables of Chris Waller and was last seen running third in the Rupert Clarke and sixth in the Toorak Handicap, Ryan Moore replacing Jim Cassidy in the saddle this afternoon.
See below for the latest Crystal Mile 2014 odds, betting on all of today’s features going off online now at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the famous $500 bonus bet offer!