The promising spring carnival campaign of Saturday’s odds-on 2016 Flight Stakes favourite Omei Sword has come to an abrupt end with the Chris Waller-trained filly suffering a respiratory infection.
Waller scratched the three-year-old daughter of High Chaparral from the $500,000 Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Epsom Day, Omei Sword heading out to the paddock to recover ahead of a return in 2017.
The master trainer sent the filly for an examination after she failed to recover well post-workout on Thursday morning, testing revealing the infection.
“Omei Sword has been withdrawn from Flight Stakes due to respiratory infection. Trainer C Waller advised would now be spelled,” Racing NSW Stewards announced via Twitter this morning.
Winner of the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) first-up as a three-year-old on August 20, Waller’s classy High Chaparral filly went on to run a brave second last time out at Rosehill on September 10 to Astern in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m).
She was the odds-on favourite in Flight Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au this weekend to emulate the form of Speak Fondly (2015) last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival and breakthrough in elite level company on the back of the Golden Rose second.
Omei Sword is the second official Flight Stakes scratching along with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Quick Feet who also withdrew from the $120,000 Listed Poseidon Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in Melbourne on Sunday.
There are now just six fillies in the mix for the set weights mile classic.
Waller still has two chances to win his first Flight Stakes title in Sezanne and Awoke jumping from barriers six and four respectively.
More Than Ready filly Sezanne comes off a fourth to stablemate Foxplay in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) beaten just over a half a length on September 17.
That followed back-to-back Canterbury wins in August and fourth-up getting out over a mile in a small field, she looks a big hope for the stable.
Awoke is also a Tea Rose Stakes graduate having crossed one and a half-lengths back for seventh.
Earlier in the week Waller opted not to accept for his Furious Stakes – Tea Rose Stakes double winner Foxplay in the Flight Stakes.
Instead he saved the in-form Foxwedge filly for a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) over the same distance down in Melbourne on Caulfield Guineas Day Saturday week, October 8.
With Omei Sword spelled, Foxplay is now the short-priced favourite in the pre-field Thousand Guineas odds to hand Waller a second win after his victory with Amicus (2014).
The new favourite in the updated Flight Stakes betting markets meanwhile is the David Vandyke-trained Yankee Rose.
She chases a second Group 1 win after backing up from a Golden Slipper second in the autumn to win the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) as a two-year-old.
Her first-up run this season produced a sixth in the Golden Rose beaten three and a half lengths when she led up front before being run down late.
Since then the talented daughter of All American has won a 1200m Warwick Farm trial and she should be improving sharply with jockey Blake Shinn jumping on shooting for his second Flight Stakes win in three years after the victory on First Seal (2014).
Check out the updated Flight Stakes 2016 betting markets for the weekend now through Ladbrokes.com.au.