New Zealand Derby winner Locharburn is out of contention for the Harness Jewels at Cambridge next month.
Care-taker trainer of the massive pacer, Cran Dalgety, withdraw the New Zealand Derby winner from the rich series today, citing some non-serious, but niggling, issues as the main reason behind the decision.
Unsighted since his emphatic victory in our greatest three-year-old race the son of Christian Cullen was sent almost immediately back to owner, and original trainer, Kevin Chapman’s property where he has been under the watchful eye of Chapman’s son, Jared.
Dalgety said that due to the colt’s imposing size he is having issues with growing pains and ultimately that has spelt the end of his three-year-old season.
“In reality, he is just a big baby still,’’ Dalgety said.
“And as is the since straight after the Derby but there have been a few worries with him growing and although it’s nothing serious it’s still enough to make us sit down and rethink the plan of attack.
“As good as he is you can’t keep pushing them too much, he’s got his wee niggling issues and is going through a bit of a transition stage in his growing.’’
A star among a crop of brilliant three-year-olds which include Tiger Tara and Isaiah, Locharburn’s defection robs the three-year-old Emerald for colts and geldings of one of its real attractions.
Dalgety said they could have continued on with preparation for the Jewels, but the horse’s interests are what need to come first.
“It could have been quite easy to push on I think, but where that would leave him next season I’m not sure.
“They got the big one, the Derby was the main aim all along
“I’d love to be taking him up there under my arm – for sure.
“But a good break now is only going to be beneficial for him down the track.’’
Dalgety also knows that Locharburn’s defection from the Jewels most likely means he won’t get to take him to the races under his name again.
The West Melton horseman had been playing the role of babysitter for Chapman while he enjoys an overseas holiday but the plan was always for the pacer to return to him upon his return.
By Matt Markham (Courtesy of HRNZ)