Paprika undergoes surgery

Queensland’s star two-year-old Paprika was to undergo surgery on Tuesday for a minor cartilage tear which has ruled her out of the $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill in April.

Trainer Liam Birchley ordered X-rays of the General Nediym filly following her narrow defeat by Phelan Ready in the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 10.
Birchley is in New Zealand with Paprika’s stablemate Sarge In Charge for the Karaka Million at Ellerslie in Auckland on Sunday.
“The way she (Paprika) ran out in the straight was a bit disturbing so I got her X-rayed,” Birchley said.
“That’s why I went searching and now we’ve found the answer.
“She had a wide run and possibly should have still won the Magic Millions.”
Birchley said Paprika’s cartilage tear was only tiny and she would spell for three months following surgery before preparing for the Melbourne spring carnival.
“She’s got a little cartilage tear about the size of a pinhead,” Birchley said.
“She’s having surgery today and will be out for three months.
“Usually these type of injuries get worse and develop into a chip but it’s not that bad as we’ve found it early.
“Digital X-rays these days are very precise and you can have a 3D look at things.”
Meanwhile, Sarge In Charge worked strongly at Ellerslie on Tuesday morning ahead of his Karaka Million mission.
“He galloped by himself at Ellerslie today and went enormous,” Birchley said.
“He ran good time and looks on top of his game.
“He went to Sydney first and then went straight over to New Zealand on Saturday and it was a trouble-free trip.”
Birchley has gone for local experience by engaging Kiwi jockey Hayden Tinsley to ride Sarge In Charge in the Karaka Million.
Sarge In Charge was ridden in trackwork by former Brisbane jockey and respected worker rider Alan Russell who accompanied Birchley to New Zealand.
The son of Golan, who was bought for $110,000 at the Karaka sales, was runner-up over 1000 metres on debut at Eagle Farm in November before winning over the same distance there on Boxing Day.
Golan is sire of 2007 Victoria Derby winner Kibbutz and Birchley believes Sarge In Charge will eventually stay.
Meanwhile, trainer Bruce McLachlan will sound out Brad Rawiller as a replacement for the injured Jason Holder on Phelan Ready when he heads to Sydney for the Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on April 4.
Phelan Ready is likely to run in the Group Two Todman Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21 and needs to win to qualify for the world’s richest two-year-old race a fortnight later.

By Glenn Davis