The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
One-time favourite and last start Prelude winner Lofty Strike has officially been scratched from the Group 1 $1.5 million Neds Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) due to lameness on the eve of what would have been his biggest test to date.
The fairy-tale for trainer Julius Sandhu and the large ownership group behind the undefeated Snitzel colt has come to an end in regards to a Blue Diamond bid with the youngster ruled out of the event due to lameness.
The horse first presented issues when inspected by Racing Victoria vets on Thursday and was ordered to be re-examined on Friday morning.
In shattering news for his Cranbourne-based trainer, the up-and-comer was found to still be lame in his right front foot and subsequently scratched, a decision Sandhu was openly critical of.
“That’s an understatement. That’s an understatement,” Sandhu said according to Punters.
“If you want me to put words to it, I’ll put words to it … there’s a difference of opinion and unfortunately we don’t have a choice.
“That’s as simple as it is.”
Lofty Strike was second favourite for the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival feature having backed-up from a winning debut at Flemington in mid-January to win the Group 3 $300,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) by over a length on February 12.
Jockey Jamie Mott is now without a ride in the event, with Lofty Strike officially coming out of barrier 13.
The other two runners under an injury cloud ahead of the Blue Diamond Stakes – Kiki Express (lameness in left foreleg) for Mathew Ellerton and Hawkes Racing’s Chairman’s Stakes winner Sebonack (swelling on the right fetlock) – have both been passed fit to run.
There was also pre-race drama for the Peter Moody-trained Rampant Lion who shifted a plate, but passed a Friday afternoon check and remains in good order.
Updated 2022 Blue Diamond Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au have Jacquinot as the firming $4.40 favourite in gate 10 with Damian Lane aboard.
Hot on his heels and getting plenty of support from the punters is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Russian Revolution filly Revolutionary Miss.
She has been backed steadily in from $7.50 to $4.50 and will jump from barrier 11 with Jamie Kah partnering the impressive Prelude winning filly.
Click here for the latest Blue Diamond Stakes 2022 odds ahead of Caulfield Race 7 at 4:25pm (AEDT).
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