The spring maybe over for Ayrton as he recovers from a bacterial infection that may have been brought on by a spider bite.
Mick Price, who trains the highly regarded galloper in partnership with Michael Kent Jr, said the four-year-old was on “a super anti-biotic” and responding well to it.
Price said Ayrton’s lameness had come down to being one-out-of-five after starting out at three-out-of-five and possibly as high as four-out-five.
The course of anti-biotics has almost ruled Ayrton out of the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) on October 2, for which he was the equal second favourite, and also places him in doubt for the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill three weeks later.
Price said Ayrton was sent to a water-walker to recuperate from his third-placed finish at Flemington over 1400m on September 11.
Ayrton has since been shifted to a veterinary clinic in Narre Warren for treatment and to monitor his condition.
“I got a call on Tuesday, and they said he was walking a bit funny behind, so we sent the vet down straight down,” Price said.
“The anti-biotics have to work. He has some bacterial infection in there, but it’s positive signs.
“My feel is when you need your athlete in beautiful condition and something makes them sick, you need the same amount of time to let them recover.
“They get dehydrated, they get stressed, they lose weight, their gut gets stressed and so if you lose a week, you need a week, if you’re lucky.
“You just can’t turn the tap on, so I think we’re in trouble for this prep, but I’m not sure yet.
“But it doesn’t matter. The horse can have a good spell and get over it.”