Champion sprinter Hooked On Scotch is a shock scratching from next week’s Group 2 Warragul Cup final (460m), only hours after sensationally winning his heat in near-record time.
The sport’s latest superstar semaphored a sizzling 25.342sec – only .04sec off Aston Dee Bee’s 25.338sec mark set in December 2016 – but pulled up with a stopper-related injury. (Thompson also trained Aston Dee Bee when he established the record.)
His withdrawal has created a significant market reshuffle on TAB Fixed odds betting, with G1 Melbourne Cup winner Whiskey Riot ($2.50) now the race favourite.
Hooked On Scotch would have been chasing his sixth group race win, and the final did look at his mercy after he drew box eight – the same draw from which he set a new Sandown 515-metre track record (28.94sec) in a heat of the G1 Melbourne Cup.
“He sustained a stopper-related injury,” part-owner Darren Puleio said. “It didn’t look like it happened in the run, so we think it occurred in the catching pen.”
Puleio added that the injury “fortunately doesn’t appear career threatening”.
“It’s only early days yet, but we estimate he’ll be off the scene for around 10 weeks.”
With 12 wins from 19 starts, Hooked On Scotch has captivated a wide audience winning the G1 Hobart Thousand, G1 Adelaide Cup, G2 Geelong Gold Cup, G3 Shootout and G3 Speed Star. He was also third in the G1 Melbourne Cup.
Although it is sad news that we wont see Hooked On Scotch around the tracks for a little while, this picture will surely make you smile. Part-owner Mick Puleio holding a hand drawn picture of Hooked On Scotch drawn by Luke Barda (pictured).