Day At The Track

Hoof issue rules out defending champ

12:19 AM 01 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Melpark Royal Son, harness racing
Melpark Royal Son

On the eve of the state’s biggest trotting event, there is a notable omission. Defending harness racing champion Melpark Royal Son will miss the 2017 Gr.2 $40,630 Darrell Alexander Memorial Trotting Championship series owing to a mysterious hoof issue.

Prepared by astute mentor John Cremin, Melpark Royal Son resumed with a steady sixth at Albion Park on November 18 when handled by leading reinsperson Danielle Hill but never looked completely comfortable in running.

And that left Cremin perplexed.

“I haven’t been completely satisfied with the way he was trotting this campaign but I was hopeful I’d have him right to defend his title. It’s hard to pinpoint the issue but it’s in the same offside front hoof that gave him a few troubles during his Melbourne campaign earlier this year.” Cremin said.

The reigning Queensland Trotter of the Year has undergone a series of tests in recent weeks with no definitive answer has been revealed although it is different to the issue from earlier this season.

The Majestic Son gelding will spend a number of weeks in the spelling paddock.

“We’ll give him a number of weeks off now in a bid to solve the problem, there’s no point racing him when there’s an issue, I wouldn’t do that to him because he’s been so good to us since we purchased him.

“The only remaining test yet to be carried out on him is an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) but we’d have to go to Sydney for that, we haven’t ruled that out but hopefully we can organise some time to get down there.”

Melpark Royal Son is raced by Cremin’s wife, Tanya.

Cremin is heavily committed with his burgeoning farrier business while working his small team.

The opening round of heats will take place tomorrow (Friday) with two full fields taking on the staying distance of 2647m.

Key players in the first heat include Master Hugh, Blazing Under Fire, Releven Dream, Our Dainty Lady and Our Overanova among others while the second heat features Ivanov, Southern Alps, Unico Pegasus, Twice As Much, Astral Ruler, Giacomo and Iona Grinner among others.

Cremin has picked up the drives behind Liava and Blue Don for the Grant Dixon stable.

Chris Barsby

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