New Zealand colt El Roca is one of a trio of three-year-olds entered for the weight-for-age Chipping Norton Stakes but trainer Trent Busuttin says he will start in the Liverpool City Cup at the Warwick Farm meeting.
Steward exercised their discretion to withdraw favourite El Roca from Saturday’s Hobartville Stakes at Rosehill after they found he had been given an electrolyte solution the day before the race.
His scratching has fuelled disagreement between NSW and Victorian stewards over the interpretation of the rule with Busuttin and his vet unwittingly at the centre of the storm.
Busuttin and Dr David Garth admitted they were unaware of the Australian rule which does not allow for the intravenous treatment in the 24 hours leading up to race day but is not enforced in Victoria which operates on a 24-hour period before a race.
The interruption to El Roca’s campaign means he will race on Saturday and back up a week later in the Group One Randwick Guineas.
“We put him in the Chipping Norton in case he didn’t get a run in the Liverpool City Cup,” Busuttin said.
“We thought about the Canberra Guineas on Sunday which would be the most suitable race but it would mean a three-hour road trip there and back and only six days to the Guineas.
“It’s disappointing all this has happened. It was a genuine mistake.”
Christian Reith will ride El Roca in the Liverpool City Cup (1300m) for which there were 17 entries taken on Monday headed by Rain Affair and Pinwheel.
Five-time Group One winner It’s A Dundeel is the highest rated horse in the Chipping Norton (1600m) with Gai Waterhouse-trained three-year-olds Order Of The Sun and Woodbine among the 12 nominations.
Waterhouse has also entered 2012 Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold while Chris Waller will run Boban, Hawkspur and Moriarty.
Guy Walter announced on Monday that Appearance would miss the race after a minor hiccup to her campaign which has so far reaped Group Two wins in the Expressway Stakes and Apollo Stakes.