Lighthouse under injury cloud before Doncaster Mile

Lighthouse wins Coolmore Classic
Lighthouse wins the Group 1 Coolmore Classic in March 2022. (Photo: Steve Hart)

Coolmore Classic winner Lighthouse will have to pass a veterinary examination on Friday in order to take her place in the $3 million Doncaster Mile (1600m) on Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Co-trainer Ciaron Maher has advised Racing NSW stewards that the mare is lame and has a pulse in her near-fore foot. She is receiving treatment and will be assessed by vets Friday morning.

Lighthouse was imported from America last year with a Group 3 placing to her credit. The big grey mare hit the Australian turf running with five wins and three second placings from eight starts.

From those eight starts, the five-year-old daughter of Mizzen Mast (USA) has gone from bolting in in a Benchmark 84 at Kilmore in November to Group 1 glory when winning the Coolmore Classic (1500m) last start on March 12.

Day 1 of The Championships already has some casualties announced.

After making his presence felt with a first start Listed win at Flemington on March 5, Millane has been deemed in not good enough condition to travel to Sydney after not eating up his feed overnight. The $1.15 million 2021 Easter yearling has subsequently been scratched from the $1 million Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

The Country Championships Final has lost Central Districts Qualifier winner Zoo Station. Bathurst trainer Gayna Williams advised that her runner had developed heat and swelling in her near foreleg and would not be fit to race.

The five-year-old Animal Kingdom mare was a top hope in the Final, racing in great form.

The Alison Smith-trained How’s It Kev will take her place as the Central Districts emergency. The Zariz gelding from Orange will jump from barrier 16, as was drawn by Zoo Station.

How’s It Kev was fourth in the Central Districts Qualifier behind Zoo Station and has since placed third in a 1600m Class 1 at Coonamble on March 13. There, he came from 10th at the 800m to get home down the straight 1.11 lengths from the winner at the post.

There is also a question mark over Chris Waller’s Doncaster runner Hungry Heart.

A jockey has not been announced for the 2021 Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes and ATC Oaks winner, and while not yet official, it has been advised she will be unlikely to run on a heavy track.

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