The Alabar Victoria Derby will be run without one of its leading contenders with Smythes Creek trainer Emma Stewart today confirming that Bonavista Bay would miss Australia's oldest pacing classic. The Rustler Hanover colt injured himself at trackwork yesterday and will be given a fortnight's rest.
With the Alabar Victoria Derby heats to be run at Ballarat in just 12 days, en route to the $150,000 Group 1 final at Moonee Valley on February 7, Stewart said time was against getting him right for the feature.
Bonavista Bay will instead be given a freshen up before being set for the AU$487,000 Northern Derby at Auckland on Friday, March 6.
"He's sprained a hock and under vet's advice we're just going to give him a couple of light weeks and get him ready for the New Zealand (Northern) Derby," Stewart said.
"He needs a couple of weeks rest, which leaves us about two weeks short of running the Vic Derby, so we're not going to push him.
"Now that we know it is a sore spot, we'll be able to manage it and hopefully we won't have any ongoing problems."
Bonavista Bay created a huge impression winning eight starts on end towards the end of last year, culminating with wins on both nights of the SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup Carnival.
After dismembering a crack field by more than 20 metres in the $20,000 MHRC Junction Tabaret Cup he strolled home by seven metres in the $40,000 MHRC Victoria Sires Classic.
From 10 starts he has those eight wins plus a second placing for $75,301 in stakes.