Hunter-based syndicators Australian Bloodstock will pin their Flemington spring carnival hopes on a revival from Articus in the Emirates (Mackinnon) Stakes after Longines Mile chance Tosen Stardom was spelled on Tuesday.
The Darren Weir-trained Tosen Stardom was set to race in the October 29 group 1 over 1600 metres at Flemington after a cut leg and subsequent infection ruined connection’s George Main Stakes, Toorak Handicap and Cox Plate ambitions.
However, Australian Bloodstock director Luke Murrell said the infection now requires minor surgery to remove dead bone, ruling Tosen Stardom out for the rest of 2016.
Articus was 13th in the Caulfield Cup last Saturday and will have another crack at group 1 success on November 5 over 2000m.
Meanwhile, Murrell said owners were keen to push on with the racing career of 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist despite a last-place finish in the Canadian International on Monday.
After an injury-plagued stay in the Hunter following his stunning Melbourne Cup win, Protectionist had raised hopes of more international glory with three wins in Germany back under the care of his Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Andreas Wohler. They included the group 2 Hansa-Preis and group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin.
Australian Bloodstock were considering invites to the Japan Cup and US Breeders Cup, as well as the possibility of a campaign at the rich Hong Kong carnival in December, before the 2400m Canadian group 1.
Protectionist was ridden at the rear of the field with a slow pace up front before being squeezed out between runners in a late sprint for the finish line.
Murrell was disappointed with the ride by Eduardo Pedroza and was unsure what was next for the seven-year-old entire.
“We’re really up in the air and disappointed because that was supposed to be a defining moment in which way we head,” he said.
“I think if he gets an invite to Hong Kong, we might look at that and try and reassess him, even though the ground over there is not ideal. It’s generally a lot firmer than he would like.
“We’ll see how he gets back home, but at this stage the owners would like to push on if the horse is happy, and it would seem that’s the case.
“We just want Andreas to see him first.
“We just wanted to see him run well there, and it wasn’t as if he didn’t, he just wasn’t given the opportunity.”
He said the November 27 Japan Cup was still an option for Protectionist.