Anthony Azzopardi will head into tonight’s Group 3 Easter Gift a little lighter on after the retirement announcement of Melbourne Cup champ Whiskey Riot last night following a minor toe nail injury.
Whiskey Riot was one of the leading contenders to take out the $25,000 Easter Gift.
“It’s only minor but won’t be 100% for tonight,” Azzopardi said told Sandown’s Mick Floyd.
Whiskey Riot retires the 9th highest prize money earner in the sport with $812,295. He won 22 of his 45 starts including twice at group 1 level – the TAB Melbourne Cup and Temlee.
Despite the scratching of Whiskey Riot, tonight’s Group 3 Easter Gift is still shaping up to be one of the races of the year and Azzopardi still has one chance – Australian Cup champ Fernando’s Riot.
“It is a hell of a race – I couldn’t believe it when I saw the field,” Azzopardi said.
“He just needs to find a bit of luck early because if he does find a striking position, he has strength on his side.”
Fernando’s Riot is used to overcoming big odds having won the Australian Cup in February at the odds of $12. He is currently sitting around the $11 mark with TAB to claim the Group 3 Easter Gift.
The Group 3 Easter Gift is race six on the card at Sandown Park tonight and will jump at 8.49pm.
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