Jilliby Kung Fu - won't be at the Jewels. Photo: Ashlea Brennan.
Next month’s Harness Jewels has lost arguably its biggest name after the connections of Australian star Jilliby Kung Fu withdrew him on Wednesday.
“It’s with disappointment that I advise that I have been contacted by Marg Lee, the trainer of Jilliby Kung Fu, to tell me that they wish to withdraw him from the Jewels,” said Harness Racing New Zealand Racing Manager, Darrin Williams.
“Marg feels the horse is not quite right where she wants him to be heading towards such an important assignment.”
Jilliby Kung Fu, the Chariots of Fire winner and Miracle Mile placegetter, would have started favourite in the $150,000 4YO Emerald against the likes of Eamon Maguire, A G’s White Socks and Star Galleria.
Another Australian four-year-old, trotter Custodian, has had his transit to New Zealand delayed after coming developing a temperature yesterday.
“His trainer, Nathan Jack, remains upbeat about him taking his place on Jewels day,” said Williams.
“At this stage he will fly with the other Victorian horses closer to the Jewels.”
Custodian, a winner of the 2YO Ruby at Cambridge in 2016, will tackle the $125,000 4YO Ruby this time.