Star trotter Speeding Spur has been stood down for two months after ‘bleeding’ in the Group 1 A$250,000 Great Southern Star in Melbourne on Saturday night.
Speeding Spur dropped out to finish eighth after leading up in the big Group 1 event and a post-race scope revealed him to be a Grade 4 bleeder.
He has been stood down 56 days and must trial to the satisfaction of stewards, and exhibit a clear scope before resuming.
Andrew Grierson, leading equine veterinarian and the horse’s co-owner, said the horse would not have been stood down under New Zealand’s regulations.
“There was no blood out of the nostrils.”
Co-trainer John Dickie confirmed Speeding Spur would return to Auckland on Thursday morning and be given two weeks off at an agistment property.
Plans for the Rowe and Anzac Cups at Alexandra Park in late April/early May are still a possibility, as is the New Zealand Trotting Champs at Addington on April 5.
Speeding Spur won by the Trotting Champs and the Rowe Cup last season.
“First and foremost, we want to see if comes back from what has happened,” said Dickie.
“He’s eligible to make those three races, and the last two at Auckland especially, I would like to think we can get him to them.
“But beyond, that, who knows?
“Ultimately it will be up to Andrew to decide,” said Dickie, strongly intimating retirement may be looming.
In other news, Grierson said connections had been notified that Speeding Spur would be likely be promoted to second place in the Inter Dominion Grand Final (A$150,000), held at Melton on December 15.
Runner-up, Sky Petite, which was a 100-1 outsider, has subsequently returned a positive swab to arsenic, though the B sample is yet to return.
Also heading home from Melbourne this week is Pat’s Delight, who was below-par in the Group 1 A$100,000 4YO Bonanza at Melton on Saturday night.
A stable representative for trainer Cran Dalgety confirmed Pat’s Delight, who has been in Victoria since November, and contested the Inter Dominion Series, would skip the upcoming Chariots Of Fire in Sydney and return home.
– NZ Harness News