A bitterly disappointed Steve White has revealed dreams of Melbourne Cup glory are over for brilliant last start Group 2 Bendigo Cup winner Paua Of Buddy.
The lightly-raced Paua Of Buddy has created an enormous impression in winning eight of his 11 starts and looked certain to be a major player in the big-money end-of-year features after a near-record Bendigo Cup triumph on October 16.
But an untimely cut to a pastern while trialling at Healesville put White in a race against the clock to have the son of 2017 Melbourne Cup winner Aston Dee Bee ready for the Melbourne Cup heats on Friday, November 20.
“It’s slowly healing but we’re going to run out of time,” a dejected White confirmed on Tuesday.
“He did it trialling at Healesville about a week after he won the Bendigo Cup.
“He’s good now and I’ll start galloping him again on Saturday but I’ve lost three weeks. You just can’t do it.
“It’s very disappointing because he was flying.”
“Jonesy (owner/breeder David Jones) was devastated. He was our best chance to win a Melbourne Cup. Post-to-post at Sandown he trials the same times as Sennachie did.
While Paua Of Buddy has only raced once over ‘500’ and that was back on May 5, when runner-up in a 6/7th Grade heat at The Meadows, White has no doubts the Warragul 400m record holder will be a force over 500m.
“I think he would’ve put himself right in contention for a slot in the Phoenix if he’d gone through the Melbourne Cup series,” White said.
“The Hobart Thousand was the next option but it’s out of the question due to Tasmania not opening its borders until December 15.
“I can’t send him to someone else in Tasmania because I need to keep a close eye on him with the recovery issues he’s had.
“But there’s plenty of options coming up early in the New Year; the (G2) Warragul Cup and the (G1) Gold Bullion in Brisbane. I really think Albion Park will suit him.”
WATCH: Paua Of Buddy (1) continued the brilliant start to his career with a scorching 23.29sec victory in the G2 Bendigo Cup (425m) on October 16, just .01sec outside Typhoon Sammy’s TR.
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