Turffontein out of the autumn
Trainer Anthony Cummings’s autumn plans have suffered another setback with sprinter-miler Turffontein ruled of the Sydney carnival.
A veterinary examination confirmed the multiple Group One-placed galloper jarred up badly when finishing sixth to Mufhasa in the Telegraph Handicap at Trentham in New Zealand at the weekend.
"His fetlock is the problem area but there’s no lasting damage," Cummings said.
"It’s enough to keep him out of the autumn and he’s only an outside chance for Brisbane so I’d say we won’t see him again until the spring."
Cummings said the four-year-old would spend "a month to six weeks" spelling in New Zealand before returning to Australia.
Turffontein is the third stable star Cummings has lost for the autumn. He joins Rosehill Guineas winner Dealer Principal and stakes-class stayer Red Lord on the sidelines.
Dealer Principal went amiss soon after running in the Emirates Stakes at Flemington in November while Red Lord suffered a serious neck injury while spelling.
"Red Lord actually fractured a vertebra in his neck," Cummings said. "It’s a mystery how it happened but he’s making a good recovery."
Red Lord found form early in his spring campaign, winning successive Sydney races before going to Melbourne.
Cummings was hoping for similar results in the autumn with a conservative preparation aimed at a second-up tilt at the $2 million Doncaster Mile.
In spite of the absence of his autumn trump cards, Cummings still has numbers on his side for the famous 1600m race at Randwick on April 18.
He has nominated nine horses, headed by last year’s $1 million Golden Rose winner Duporth and the Group One-placed Solo Flyer.
Duporth hasn’t raced since finishing fourth in the Caulfield Guineas in October while Solo Flyer will return to racing soon after an extended lay-off.
Now a four-year-old, Solo Flyer’s career has been interrupted by equine influenza and a minor knee problem which kept him out of last year’s spring carnival.
By Warwick Barr