Trainer Peter Moody could scratch his Rubiton Stakes runner-up Flamberge from Saturday’s 2015 Oakleigh Plate field the day before the Blue Diamond Stakes Day showdown after discovering mucus on the horse’s throat this morning.
Moody said he would not run the Exceed And Excel gelding in the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield Racecourse on the weekend, a race he ran fifth behind Lankan Rupee in last year, unless the five-year-old was 100%.
He informed Racing Victoria stewards on Thursday morning about the issue and said he would make the call on Friday.
“He won’t go to the races unless he’s 100 per cent,” Moody said.
“In fairness to the horse’s connections and the market for the race we’ll make that call tomorrow morning.”
A capacity Oakleigh Plate field of 18 sprinters is engaged to face off in Caulfield Race 7 at 5:15pm (AEDT) at this stage, Flamberge drawn wide in barrier 17.
The wide draw and now concerns surrounding his health have pushed Flamberge out from $7.50 to $9.50 in the latest Oakleigh Plate odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Markets are led by the now John O’Shea-trained filly Earthquake at $5 who is first-up here on the nice 50.5kg light weight, the three-year-old having won the Blue Diamond Stakes as a two-year-old on this day last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Flamberge though is still being kept safe in betting as one of the three other single figure hopes outside of the favourite after his nice first-up run last time out.
A fortnight ago over the same track and distance he was just a neck away second to the Hawkes Racing-trained star sprinter Chautauqua in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m).
If he does take is spot in the Oakleigh Plate on Saturday, Flamberge will be shooting for his first win since a first-up victory in the Group 3 Theshar.Com.Au Stakes also run over the 1100m at Caulfield in August last year.
The other best fancied runners for the sprint feature include short-distance specialist Vain Queen ($6) in barrier 10 for jockey Damian Lane first-up and Northern Meteor mare Atmospherical ($8.50) who ran third in the Rubiton Stakes.
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