There is a tinge of disappointment in Joseph Waldron’s Te Awamutu stable after his Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) hope Flying Feet has been forced to withdraw from the Ellerslie feature.
The promising Ocean Park three-year-old is now in the spelling paddock after he was found slightly lame on Saturday morning, just before his tilt at the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m).
“In a routine trot-up on race morning he wasn’t quite right,” Waldron said. “We got him checked out and the vet said he needs a few months in the paddock to get over things.
“It was a big shame, I think he would have been competitive in the Guineas then onwards into the Derby as well, but that’s just how things go sometimes.
“The horse always comes first and it will be good for him to have a break now.”
The gelding has been impressive in his first three starts for Waldron, winning one and runner-up in his two other starts for the young trainer who is looking forward to Flying Feet’s four-year-old season.
“He came a long way in one prep and the wear and tear got to him a bit,” Waldron said.
“He’ll have a good spell now and allow for him to get over things naturally, time’s a good healer of most things and we look forward to getting him back as a four-year-old.”