Dragon Leap side-lined
Kiwi four-year-old Dragon Leap has suffered a set-back that will curtail his Sydney spring campaign.
The Lance O'Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained gelding had looked in for a good preparation, having found the line well for eighth in the Gr.2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) , beaten just two lengths, and was on target for the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
"It's a minor injury and certainly nothing of any note that is going to have any long-term effect on his racing career," O'Sullivan said.
"It is a case of six weeks rest and he will be as good as gold."
The Hong Kong-owned galloper will recuperate initially in Australia but will return to the O'Sullivan-Scott stable in Matamata.
While a decision is still to be made as to whether the horse heads to Hong Kong to continue his career, O'Sullivan said the multiple Group Two winner could become a permanent member of his team.
"We were probably more likely for him to have gone to Hong Kong if this hadn't occurred," O'Sullivan said.
"He's only had six career starts, so all it's all ahead of him. The less racing they do as young horses the longer they race for."
Dragon Leap's owners Hermitage Thoroughbreds appear to have another smart performer on their hands, with impressive trial winner Rocket Spade to make his debut for O'Sullivan and Scott in the near future.
"He'll run in a maiden three-year-old 1400m race at Matamata on Wednesday week," O'Sullivan said.
"I was hoping there would be a 1400m three-year-old race this week so we could get the show on the road."
Meanwhile, the stable's smart stayer Sir Charles Road holds nominations for both the Gr.3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on Friday and the Gr.3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) on Saturday at Randwick.
Tiptronic building nicely
Group One winner Tiptronic was one of the eye-catching runs at Ellerslie on Saturday, with the O'Reilly seven-year-old lumping 60kgs into a close-up fourth in the Auckland Co-Op Taxis 1600 won by Codecracker and looks set to make an impact deeper into the campaign.
The Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall-trained galloper was second-up after resuming with a sixth placing at Taupo.
"I was very happy with the run on Saturday because he carried six kilos more than anything else, with the exception of Fiscal Fantasy (57kgs). It was a very good effort," Richardson said.
"He ate up well, has done everything right and was stretching out well this morning. He'll go to Te Rapa on October 2 for a mile or 2100m and then we'll go down to the Livamol (Gr.1, 2040m) after that.
"Then we'll give him a freshen up and get him ready for the Auckland carnival then Te Rapa for the Herbie Dyke (Gr.1, 2000m) again."
The winner of in excess of $500,000 in prizemoney, Tiptronic won last season's Herbie Dyke Stakes, defeating True Enough.
Richardson believes 2000m is Tiptronic's peak distance, particularly as an older horse.
"I don't want him peaking too quickly so he'll more than likely go to the mile at Te Rapa next to be at his best for the Livamol," he said.
Richardson is pleased with the depth of younger horses coming through the stable.
"I've got a lot of nice young horses at the moment including a filly by Exosphere called Belle Moi," he said.
"She went shin sore after her last trial, which was a shame because she would have been going around at Hastings this weekend in the Gold Trail (Gr.3, 1200m) and there are plenty of others including Devotioninmotion. It's really pleasing."