Imported stayer Count Octave will not run in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups after being found to have a leg issue.
The five-year-old has joined the Chris Waller stable from English trainer Andrew Balding after Aquis Farm bought into the ownership with Sheikh Fahad’s Qatar Racing.
“Following the detection of some heat in a foreleg it has been decided that Count Octave will not race during the spring carnival and will be withdrawn from 2018 Melbourne Cup carnival,” Waller said. in a statement on Tuesday.
“It is very disappointing news to digest for both the connections and I, however given he is a young and lightly raced entire with exceptional form it was agreed that rather than risking his racing career it is best to give him a break and focus on a return to racing next year.
“No firm decisions have been decided upon his immediate future, however there is a likelihood he may return to the UK with a view of having him prepared to race for their summer carnival of 2019 and then return to Australia in the spring of next year where he can again be targeted at the Melbourne Cup.”
Count Octave, who is by champion Frankel, has won two races over 2460m and finished second to Ascot Gold Cup winner Stradivarius in the Lonsdale Cup (3270m) at his most recent start in late August.
He had been at $26 for both Cups with the TAB.