Cummings likely to bring Turffontein home
Scans will determine the immediate future of Turffontein in the wake of the Australian sprinter’s unplaced return to racing in New Zealand.
Trainer Anthony Cummings revealed Turffontein was feeling the effects of a firmer than expected racing surface at Trentham.
Racing as Lord Turffontein, the entire loomed up to challenge in the $NZ1 million Telegraph Handicap on Saturday before finishing sixth in the Group One race.
"I’m not sure that he has pulled up all that well," Cummings said.
"The track was too hard for him to show his best. He ran up to win but I think he was starting to feel his legs a bit."
Cummings ordered a precautionary veterinary examination for the Group One placegetter but irrespective of the results, he has almost certainly ruled out another New Zealand run.
"There’s a weight-for-age race at Te Rapa early next month and my first thoughts were to run him in that race because it fitted in nicely with the flight back to Australia," Cummings said.
The $NZ200,000 Waikato Sprint (1400m) will be run at Te Rapa on February 7.
"Now I would say (Te Rapa) is most unlikely. Everything is a bit up in the air.
"Depending on how the scans come back, by the end of the week he could be on a plane back to Melbourne or he might be in a paddock in New Zealand.
"At the very least he will be given a very easy week to get over the run."
The Telegraph Handicap was won by the Stephen McKee-trained Mufhasa.
Mufhasa, bred to be even better over distances longer than Saturday’s 1200m, is expected to campaign in Australia.
McKee is considering Sydney and Brisbane carnival options for the four-year-old.
The $2 million Doncaster Handicap at Randwick on April 18, for which nominations close on Tuesday, is expected to be a prime target for Mufhasa.
By Warwick Barr