A start in the Aus$3million BMW Caulfield Cup in a fortnight is off the table for New Zealand Derby winner Gingernuts after he missed a run in the Gr. 1 Livamol Classic on Saturday.
The abandonment of racing at Hastings on Saturday, due to concerns around rider safety following a horse slipping badly when pulling up after the Gr. 2 Hawkes Bay Guineas, has meant the team at Te Akau Racing must now switch to Plan B with the Iffraaj four-year-old.
Originally scheduled to fly to Australia on Wednesday, Gingernuts will now remain in New Zealand for the time being before heading to Melbourne later than planned to contest the Gr. 1 Emirates Stakes on the last day of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis was philosophical about the circumstances that have necessitated the change in direction for their stable star.
“You can’t control the weather and it is just very very unfortunate what has happened with the track on the weekend,” he said.
“By missing a run on Saturday, it means he won’t be ready for the Caulfield Cup or the Melbourne Cup after that so we have had to shift to Plan B.
“We are going to wait and see what decision is taken with rescheduling the Livamol and if it fits in he will remain here to contest the race before heading over to Melbourne to run in the Emirates Stakes.
“If for some reason they can’t reschedule the Livamol or it isn’t on a date that suits he will go to Melbourne a little earlier and have a lead-up run to the Emirates over there.”
While naturally disappointed by Saturday’s turn of events Ellis confirmed the possibility of missing the Caulfield Cup had always been in the back of his mind.
“With racing you always have to keep as many options on the table that you can so we had thought about different scenarios if things didn’t go to plan,” he explained.
“Originally we had thought about going to Melbourne for his final Caulfield Cup lead-up but we were mindful of the travel and doing what was best for the horse.
“We felt the best option was to stay and contest the Livamol which minimised the travel for him but circumstances have dictated that is not to be.
“You have to remember he is only a four-year-old and the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups will still be there next year and the year after that so there is plenty of time to accomplish those goals.”
While Ellis is disappointed for the horse and his connections he is also feeling for Hawkes Bay Racing Incorporated who have had their flagship day of the year cruelly cut short.
“I really feel for the Club as they had a sell-out crowd and it promised to be a wonderful day’s racing,” he noted.
“They did everything they could to keep the meeting going but mother nature conspired against them and in the end safety is paramount and the right decision was made to call the meeting off.”
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing have indicated that discussions with Hawkes Bay Racing are continuing with the view to an announcement on the rescheduling of the Livamol Classic to be made in the next few days. – NZ Racing Desk
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