With just two days until the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield, one of the more fancied runners, Lofty Strike, has been found to be lame.
The Julius Sandhu-trained two-year-old is currently a $7 chance with online bookmakers for the $1.5 million feature on Saturday, but he will have to pass a second veterinary examination on Friday morning if he is to take his place.
The unbeaten colt was brilliant when winning his most recent race in the Colts & Geldings edition of the Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) on February 12, which saw him rocket into contention for this weekend’s feature race.
Lofty Strike produces a big win in the Blue Diamond Prelude for the boys!
Julius Sandhu has a smart one on his hands. pic.twitter.com/gcatzSYhka
— 7HorseRacing 🐎 (@7horseracing) February 12, 2022
“Racing Victoria (RV) veterinarians have this morning commenced their pre-race veterinary inspections of all horses accepted to run in Saturday’s Group 1 Neds Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield,” a statement from Racing Victoria read.
“RV advises that the Julius Sandhu-trained Lofty Strike presented with lameness in the right front and will be re-inspected tomorrow to determine the colt’s suitability to race.”
Jamie Mott is set to ride Lofty Strike from barrier 13 as he chases his first Group 1 win in the saddle.
Also coming through a win in the Blue Diamond Prelude (Fillies) is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Revolutionary Miss.
The daughter of Russian Revolution has been well-supported in betting, firming from $8 into $6 with Sportsbet since markets went up.
Jamie Kah is set to ride the filly from barrier 11, while the current $5 race favourite, Jacquinot, will jump from barrier 10 under Damian Lane.
Racing gets underway at Caulfield at 12:40pm AEDT with the running of the Group 3 Zeditave Stakes (1200m) for three-year-old colts and geldings.