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Preferment ruled out of Emirates Stakes

Preferment has been ruled out of the Emirates Stakes with the Chris Waller-trained horse struggling with an eye injury.

The four-time Group One winner developed an ulcer after being hit with a clod in the Caulfield Cup.

After initially responding to treatment, Preferment was taken off anti-inflammatories with the race approaching at Flemington on Saturday.

“He was OK the first day but it started flickering so he won’t be running,” Waller said.

Waller has entered three runners in the 2000m-Group One race formerly known at the Mackinnon Stakes.

Import Endless Drama will be joined by Vanbrugh but Mackintosh is not a certain starter.

Endless Drama will be having his first start for Waller after arriving in Australia a little over four weeks ago with the first shipment of northern hemispere horses for the Melbourne spring carnival.

Waller said Endless Drama had adapted well to his Flemington stable and been working well.

Endless Drama won a Cranbourne trial on October 17, two days after coming out of quarantine.

“We haven’t asked him to do the impossible, so he’s just had nice pieces of work including that trial,” Waller said.

“He went to Moonee Valley on Friday night for a gallop with Closing Bell and again appeared to be quite impressive.”

Waller said for Endless Drama there would be a big adaption to the Australian style of racing.

“Don’t expect him to run home in 35 seconds,” Waller said.

“We’ll want a truly run Emirates Stakes and if they come home in 37 he’ll be grinding it out at the finish.”

Waller said Endless Drama was built more like an Australian 1600 to 2000m horse rather than a European stayer and that should help the five-year-old adapt to Australian conditions.

Vanbrugh heads to the Emirates off a last-start win over Tom Melbourne on Caulfield Cup day.

Waller said Vanbrugh deserved a shot at Saturday’s Group One race.

“He’s a Group One winning colt that we could have run in the Group Three races during the week but we’ve decided to stick with the Group One target,” Waller said.

“He’s going OK and I don’t think we should worry about his form prior to his 2000 metres last start which he won.”

Waller will be represented by Japonisme in the other Group One race on Saturday, the Darley Classic.

Japonisme was third to Rebel Dane in the Manikato Stakes on October 21.

“It was great to see him back in form,” Waller said.

“He was three wide and only got beaten a small margin.

“He’s ready to go.”

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