Last season’s Champion Two-Year-Old Avantage has suffered a set-back which has seen her ruled out of the Group 1 Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton next month.
The winner of six of her seven starts, including an impressive victory in the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) last month, Avantage did not pull-up particularly well after the win and a decision was made to carry out a bone scan after she was examined by Te Akau’s veterinarian Dr Douglas Black.
“The report of the bone scan has now been received and it identified a muscular issue which will rule her out of the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas,” Te Akau trainer Jamie Richards said.
“While this is a huge disappointment to her owners and our team, as well all her supporters, the good news is that there is nothing more serious.
“Avantage has today travelled to a speciality equine rehabilitation facility for a five to six week period of paddock rest. We look forward to her return to the stable and the track in due course.”
A graduate of the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, Avantage was purchased by David Ellis for $210,000 and the Group 1 winning daughter of Fastnet Rock has won in excess of $800,000 in prizemoney.
Melt and Xpression now head the futures betting for the 1000 Guineas at $4 apiece.
Meanwhile, Richards will be hoping three-year-old colts Our Flying Ace and Sword Of Osman can flag themselves as genuine Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) contenders.
Rated at $6 and $26 respectively for the Guineas, Our Flying Ace will contest the Group 3 Barneswood Farm Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton on Saturday, while Sword Of Osman will step out in Monday’s Group 2 James And Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa.
“Our Flying Ace is going well, and it will be a good test for him against the northerners to see if his form is as good as some of the others,” Richards said.
“I’m pleased with Sword of Osman and hopefully he will roll forward, but Madison County is the one to beat.
“His work has been good but we’re still learning about him at 1400m, whether he’s going to relax and run it out. I don’t think he lost any admirers the other day. He was taken on early and he stuck to it when he was beaten.”