Lee & Anthony Freedman will have fewer runners in their assault this autumn after Nozomi suffered a tendon injury during a jump-out at Flemington on Friday.
The three-year-old colt was being aimed towards a campaign that included the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 7 and the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 4 and got his first test of the season in his 800 metre jump-out. However it is now likely that Nozomi will not return to the track until 2016.
Nozomi showed impressive speed to win his trial on Friday morning and his trainers were initially pleased with the result. It wasn’t until he had a check-over in the stables afterwards when Lee realised he hadn’t pulled up 100 percent.
“For him to show that speed and run that time without being asked to do it (in the jumpout) signalled to me that he’d made huge improvement since the Spring and straight after I was bubbling that we had a genuine Group 1 performer,” the trainer told Racing Victoria.
“I was just doing my final check on the horses on Friday morning and (as) I was looking at how he pulled up noticed a slight blemish on his tendon so I got the vet back and sure enough there was quite a nasty tear in his tendon.”
Nozomi enjoyed an action-packed spring campaign that consisted of six starts. He stepped up to black-type racing in October after finally winning his maiden, winning the Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) a head in front of Preferment.
The colt then earned his place in the field for the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), in which he was only run down in the final furlong, finishing a commendable third.
“He’s going to be probably gelded and then sent to rehab for six months,” Freedman said.
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