Away He Goes Ruled Out with Tendon Injury
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In a year when British, and European involvement as a whole, has been somewhat diminished because of logistical problems, another English-trained contender for the Melbourne Cup has now bit the dust.
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Away He Goes, trained in Newmarket by Ismail Mohammed, will now take no part on November 2. The five-year-old gelding had been a top contender for the race, but reportedly suffered a tendon injury on Wednesday while housed at the Werribee International Facility.
Away He Goes was in a good position to be able to hand Mohammed easily the biggest win of his career. However, his injury was discovered when jockey James McDonald landed at Werribee to sit on the horse.
The horse’s withdrawal is a real blow for connections given his strong European form. Having finished second to champion stayer Trueshan at Goodwood in July, Away He Goes ran a more than respectable seventh of 20 in the ultra-competitive Ebor Handicap at York before being quarantined ahead of his Australian trip.
Ismail Mohammed said that the injury was discovered after the gelding worked on Tuesday night. Having apparently hit himself at some point he was found to be not 100% sound. Connections had no choice but to pull the horse out immediately.
In a tumultuous year for overseas trainers, things had not been easy already for Mohammed and his team. Getting horses from England to Melbourne was already tough, especially given the extra veterinary scans required by all.
It seems all is not lost for Mohammed and his team however. The handler could well train Away He Goes towards the Dubai World Cup, in which he finished third last year. The horse is now likely to winter in the UAE before a decision is made on his Dubai Carnival participation.
Better News for British Rider
While there is less of a chance of more British equine success in the Cup this year, there’s more positive news for a Brit jockey.
Rachel King, rising star of the ranks, is now set for her first start in the Melbourne Cup aboard Pondus. The bay gelding was formerly trained by James Fanshawe and dual Cup winner Joseph O’Brien. More recently, he has been trained by Robert Hickmott however and has a fine form chance at Flemington.
Pondus ran fifth on his Aussie debut for Hickmott behind Grand Promenade in the Bart Cummings. Three weeks later he was a fine fourth in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, although a beaten favourite, and now has plenty of backers for the $8 million spectacular in under a weeks’ time.
Rachel King has previously ridden as an amateur in Britain in her younger days. She was also racing secretary for top-notch handler Clive Cox before embarking on her own Australian journey of discovery around seven years ago.
31-year-old King has spoken of her delight at her first Melbourne Cup ride. November 2 will undoubtedly be the highlight of her career to date, and she’s not without a chance either.
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