Magic Millions Guineas favourite Sydney Bowler has escaped serious injury after being caught under the gate and causing a dramatic delay to the feature race.
Sydney Bowler had issues getting into the gates and was eventually caught under the gates in distressing scenes.
There was a lengthy delay while stewards attempted to free the stuck horse before the chief of stewards called all the horses back to the mounting yard.
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“Unfortunately, it seems that Sydney Bowler has been cast underneath the gates,” Emma Freedman said on Channel 7.
“Obviously that’s going to cause a significant delay. It is of great concern for all connections as to his wellbeing going forward. That is why Jason Collett is standing there in the middle behind the gates.
“Sydney Bowler has gotten himself so worked up, possibly because that blindfold has come off too soon and put himself under the barriers.”
Chairman of stewards Joshua Adams said that they had to dismantle the gates to get the horse free, but said the horse was doing OK despite being stuck.
Jockey Jason Collett watches on. Credit: Channel 7
Freedman then shared more details of the incident.
“It is uncomfortable to take a look at what has happened to this horse. It is stuck in between the partitions,” Freedman said.
“Everyone is really concerned about the horse’s welfare. It’s not something we like to see in racing.”
In a further update, Adams said that the horse escaped serious injury and only had minor lacerations.
“The horse has been heavily sedated and is being taken straight to the equine specialist,” Adams said.
Heartbroken trainer John O’Shea then added that the horse will spend the night in hospital.
“When you see what happened and the drama that was going on, it’s sickening. Hopefully he comes back and is racing again,” he told Channel 7.
The race was rescheduled for 5.30pm AEST.
Abounding ($7.50) won the feature race ahead of Sovereign Fund and Flying Trapeze.
Earlier, master trainer Gai Waterhouse celebrated a record-breaking fifth victory in the $3m 2YO Classic with favourite Storm Boy.
Storm Boy ($2.10) jumped well, but was caught wide before pushing forward and settling in a good position.
He hit the front on the home stretch to win well ahead of Highness and Spywire.
Storm Boy wins the 2YO Classic Credit: Channel 7
The colt was purchased in last year’s Magic Millions yearling sale for $460,000 and is now unbeaten in three starts.
“The thrill is unbelievable,” Waterhouse told Channel 7 before quickly passing over to part-owner Paul Lumtin.
“The journey has been fantastic,” Lumtin added.
“Gai bought Storm Boy out to a pub. And I’m not kidding. She brought him out to the pub. We loved him. We whipped around and bought into the horse. It’s been the journey of a lifetime.”
The stunning victory looks set to rocket Storm Boy into favouritism for the Group 1 Golden Slipper.
It was also Waterhouse’s third winner on a stunning day.
More to come …