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Barooga Smoke out of Geelong Gold Cup

Star sprinter Barooga Smoke is a shock scratching from the Group 2 Geelong Gold Cup final (520m) on Friday night.

His disappointed but pragmatic young trainer Brett Nye, 29, advised Barooga Smoke had pulled up lame with soreness to his left stopper bone.

“Fortunately, X-rays have revealed no sign of major damage,” Nye said. “I’m not going to run him half-cocked, especially in a race like the Geelong Cup.

“I try to be as professional as I can… I’ll get him X-rayed in another 2-3 weeks. Life goes on.”

The superstition “bad luck comes in threes” is very real for Nye, as it’s his third bitter Group race pill to swallow.

He also had to scratch Rothwell Gal from last year’s G2 Shepparton Cup final (450m) and Last Hurrah from this year’s G1 Rookie Rebel (600m) at The Meadows.

Owned by Nye’s grandfather, Jim Psaila, Barooga Smoke (Jul ’18 Fernando Bale x No Sparkle Leica) has started 30 times for 13 wins, 11 seconds and three thirds.

He won the G3 Easter Gift (515m) in a sizzling 29.16sec (Best) on G3 Launching Pad night at Sandown Park. And he was also equal-second in the G2 Horsham Cup (485m) and a finalist in the G2 Shepparton Cup (450m).

Barooga Smoke’s scratching has ‘opened the door’ for first reserve Sweet As Emm, trained by Brendan Pursell, into the $50,000 to-the-winner final.

She was a finalist in last year’s Geelong Gold Cup, won by ill-fated superstar Simon Told Helen.

WATCH: Barooga Smoke (1) leaves Lakeview Cruiser (4) in his wake, clocking a sensational 29.16sec (Best) victory in the G3 Easter Gift at Sandown Park.

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