Gingernuts makes a forlorn sight as he is about to be loaded on the horse ambulance at Flemington.
The great leveller that is racing had its way with team Te Akau today when, three hours after producing first, second and fourth placegetters in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton, stable star Gingernuts suffered a spontaneous breakdown on the way to the start for the Emirates Stakes at Flemington.
Triple Group One winner Gingernuts was vying for favouritism in the A$2 million weight-for-age feature as he bounced around the mounting yard, but minutes later he was ruled out of his Melbourne mission.
It is understood that while cantering the short distance to the 2000-metre start, he had faltered inexplicably and suffered an injury to his near foreleg. Rider Mick Dee immediately dismounted and while the saddle was removed the club veterinarian conducted a quick examination.
The horse ambulance was called and after the affected leg was heavily bandaged, Gingernuts was loaded and transported to the Werribee veterinary clinic on the southern outskirts of Melbourne.
Co-trainer Jamie Richards, who was at Riccarton today, has been in contact with training partner Stephen Autridge in Melbourne and reports that the injury has been pinpointed to the pastern.
"We initially understood that the injury was a cannon bone fracture but it's since been diagnosed as a fracture to the pastern," Richards told www.theinformant.co.nz. "At this stage we don't know the depth of the injury, but if it's not extensive we understand that it could be operated on and screwed, with every chance he could recover and race again.
"Beyond that it's all very much a matter of wait and see."
- Racing Victoria has subsequently released the following statement on the status of Gingernuts' injury: "Near foreleg, fractured pastern, all signs non life threatening. Surgery Monday."