Melissa's Pride faces uncertain future after injury in Gold Cup heat

OUT: Melissa's Pride, left, racing at Wentworth Park. Picture: GRNSW

OUT: Melissa's Pride, left, racing at Wentworth Park. Picture: GRNSW

Ellalong trainer Michelle Shambler hopes an injury to star stayer Melissa’s Pride is not career-ending.

Melissa’s Pride was leading heat two the group 3 Gold Cup (720 metres) at Wentworth Park on Saturday night before dropping back through the field on the back straight and finishing last. Shambler said the Newcastle Cup champion had swelling around the stopper bone of her off-front leg, which would have X-rays. Hexham-trained Knight Sprite was sixth in race eight in his return.

Trainer Gayle Masterson said Knight Sprite, a two-time group 2 winner, had pulled up well in his comeback run from a hock tendon injury which prompted her to retire him to stud in January.

Masterson said Knight Sprite missed the start on Saturday night but that was not unexpected after his time out of racing. She said he would race again at Wentworth Park next Saturday night ahead of the group 1 Golden Easter Egg heats the following week.

Shambler, meanwhile, said Melissa’s Pride, which delivered her a first group victory in the Summer Cup in December, would likely be out for a few months but she was hopeful X-rays would not reveal career-threatening damage.