Champion Pearcedale trainer Jason Thompson’s dreams of back-to-back G3 Cranbourne Classics (520m) have been dashed.
Thompson’s star sprinter Aston Fastnet (Box 3), a winner of 11 from 24, is a shock scratching from the $25,000 to-the-winner age-restricted feature on Saturday night.
He was TAB’s $4.60 third elect behind fastest qualifier and Australian sprint queen Qwara Bale (Box 1) at $2.50 and ‘next big thing’ Koblenz (Box 7), who has won 12 of his past 16, at $3.60.
In late July, Aston Fastnet was eighth in the G1 Maturity Classic finalist won by Qwara Bale.
But early this month, Aston Fastnet turned the tables winning the G3 Warragul St Leger from Koblenz, with Qwara Bale finishing fourth.
However, Aston Fastnet – who would have been the only ‘local’ in the field –was third, beaten 3L, to Qwara Bale in a heat.
Thompson, who took out last year’s Cranbourne Classic with Taken ($11.50) and won with Proven Nitro ($6.60) in 2012, said Aston Fastnet had “done ligaments in his right hock” during his heat.
“He’s the third dog I’ve ‘lost’ in a week,” said an understandably upset Thompson. “He’ll be off the racing scene for around six weeks.”
Thompson added that G1 Brisbane Cup winner Equalizer ruptured an Achilles tendon at The Meadows last Thursday and Catch The Thief, who has been retired, dropped a left back muscle at The Meadows on August 7 after a near record-breaking 28.99sec display over 520m at Sale.
“Equalizer underwent surgery on Monday and will be out for around 3-4 months,” Thompson said.
Pawnote: Qwara Bale, who has also won the G1 Sapphire Crown and G2 Warrnambool Cup, was the fastest Cranbourne Classic heat winner (29.90sec) and part of a ‘clean sweep for Victoria’s leading trainer Andrea Dailly. Based at Anakie, Dailly also snared heats with Shima Classic (29.99sec) and Lala Kiwi (30.04sec). She also has Lala Ivory, who was third to Qwara Bale, in the final.
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