Somejoy winning at Wyndham earlier this season. Photo: Wild Range Photography.
Top southern mare, and leading Jewels candidate, Somejoy has been retired.
Her trainer Clark Barron races the four year-old with Eric Parr of Ashburton and they made the decision after she failed to place yesterday in the final race of the Southland Country Cup series. After challenging for the lead before the turn, the winner of eight from 20 faded to seventh.
“She didn't go well enough and has to race that class of horse now, so she's retired,” said Barron. “She'll go to stud but we haven't made any decision on a stallion.”
Somejoy had been fourth on the leaderboard for the four-year-old Diamond and her withdrawal has promoted Three Kisses to the top 12.
For two other Southland four-year-olds though, it remains full steam ahead for the Jewels. Smokey Mac sits second on the Ruby leaderboard and even after failing to flatter when fourth of six at Ascot Park yesterday, her trainer Brett Gray says the Jewels are still on the radar.
“I was a little bit disappointed given the trip he had, I thought he'd have finished better, but he hadn't raced for a month and did need it,” Gray said. “He'll be going to the Jewels and will race or trial before then, but we're still making plans.”
War Machine, third on the Ruby leaderboard, is already in the north and based with Derek Balle. His run in the Rowe Cup on Friday night pleased trainer Tony Stratford.
“He acquitted himself well after starting off the unruly,” Stratford said, everyone was reasonably happy.”
The Kenny and Jo Baynes owned four-year-old was handled in the group one by Anthony Butt, started safely from the back and ended up only six and three quarter lengths from the winner. Stratford expects War Machine to have one more start before the Jewels and will probably go for a spell afterwards.