Just hours after Flemington-based horseman Nigel Blackiston was spruiking a 2015 Cox Plate bid for his smart mare Suavito the four-year-old has been ruled out of a spring return due to injury.
A winner of seven of her 18 starts for a tidy $952,550 in prize money so far, Suavito looked on track for a big Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival this season starting with the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29.
In an early blow for Blackiston and connections of the daughter of Thorn Park, who was last seen running seventh behind Kermadec in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick in early April, suffered a knee injury during trackwork on Wednesday morning.
Having pulled up “jarry” after the run at Flemignton, x-rays were ordered and a season ending bone chip discovered.
“She was a little bit jarry in her action and we took some x-rays and there’s a minuscule little boney flake on her right knee,” Blackiston told AAP.
“It’s in a good position that will just pop out but because of the time you’ve got to give them after the arthroscope surgery, it rules out the spring.”
Always looking for the silver lining however Blackiston said the mare would return more mature for an autumn bid in 2016 and getting her right for that was now the focus.
“There’s no point rushing her back to have her racing around the end of November, so we’ll give her an extra month and get her ready for the autumn,” he said.
Before the Doncaster run in Sydney Suavito won four straight Group races in Melbourne over an impressive spring – autumn campaign that was highlighted by a one and a quarter-length victory over Smokin’ Joey (2nd) and now-retired champion Dissident (3rd) in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in late February.
A title defense in the Futurity Stakes 2016 is the most likely option with the rising five-year-old who is set to undergo surgery next week.
Proceeding that, Blackiston said the long term autumn aim with Suavito would be the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington next March.
“She should be fully recovered within eight weeks but by then there will be nothing around for her so I’ll give her some extra time off and she’ll be back in the stable by the start of November to hopefully get ready for an Australian Cup campaign,” he said.
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