Former champion Danzylum forced to retire from racing
THEY say bad luck comes in threes, and it certainly has for Victorian trainer Robbie Griffiths.
On cloud nine after leading in two winners at Caulfield 10 days ago, Griffiths was brought back to earth when he was forced to retire veteran galloper Danzylum after sustaining an injury during trackwork.
Compounding that situation, the stable also lost promising Cascabel and Burndinburn within a few days.
"It's a great leveller this game, you have a double at Caulfield one day and then lose three of your players during the course of the next week," Griffiths said.
"Danzylum was retired after suffering an injury on the training track, Cascabel has a minor bone flake that will take a few months to heal and he won't run again until next spring and Burndiniburn cracked a bone at the back of the knee and will go to stud.
"The injuries were just a bit freakish, but that's racing; you can't get too far ahead of yourself in this game. You have to really enjoy it when the stars and the moons do align for you."
Griffiths hopes that might happen again as soon as this Saturday when 2010 Standish Handicap runner-up Beltrois resumes in the Red Tempo Handicap (1000m) at Flemington after more than 12 months on the sidelines.
The now-seven-year-old, who has been restricted to just 23 starts because of various injuries, has had just one trial, but Griffiths said that could be enough to see him break his 1000m duck.
"Normally he's not sharp enough over 1000, but if he is ever going to win one, it will be this week because he's only had the one trial," Griffiths said.
"He just had a lot of niggling issues so we gave him six months in the paddock to let him strengthen up and grow new feet and he really appreciated the extended break.
"As long as he gallops well enough on Tuesday morning, then I'll accept with him on Wednesday and resume at Flemington on Saturday."
At his last start Beltrois finished ninth of 16 starters behind Rocking Force over 1000m at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day in 2011.
Other nominations for the Red Tempo include Group 2 Euclase Stakes (1200m) winner Go The Knuckle - nominated to have his first start for trainer Robert Smerdon - as well as speedsters Winter King and The Soldier.