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Trainer Byron Cozamanis is working overtime to get classy sprinter Grand Duels fit for the Group Three McKay Stakes in Adelaide after he was involved in a trackwork fall last week.

The seven-year-old is suffering muscle soreness after jumping a shadow on the track and nosediving into the turf during a gallop at Caulfield last Tuesday.

Cozamanis was hoping Saturday’s McKay Stakes (1100m) would take Grand Duels to the Group One Goodwood at Morphettville on May 7.

But he now is unsure if he will make it to the racetrack this week.

“He might be a bit doubtful for the McKay Stakes after what happened,” Cozamanis said.

He said a distance pole cast the shadow on the track which may have been new to the horses because of the time change with daylight saving ending last Sunday.

“He was running home the last 400 metres when he saw some big shadow, jumped it, and nosedived head first into the track,” Cozamanis said.

“There is no leg damage, just muscle soreness over his back and hindquarters and shoulder.”

Cozamanis said his track rider was lucky to escape serious injury.

The trainer found out later that other horses had also been spooked by the shadow, but without major incident.

“We’ve got the chiropractor in and we will see if we can get him (Grand Duels) right for Saturday,” Cozamanis said.

“The next couple of days will tell but if he can’t gallop on Tuesday he won’t be going over (for the McKay) although he might get to The Goodwood.”

The winner of 10 of his 39 starts, Grand Duels regained his best form last campaign.

He has won four of his past seven starts, three in a row over summer including the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington.

He ran a brave race when fourth to Black Caviar in the Group One Lightning Stakes (1000m) and was freshened after finishing last to the champion mare in the Group One Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 12.

“The horse was going really well until this happened,” Cozamanis said.

Grand Duels’ Group One performances include a third to Weekend Hussler in the 2008 Newmarket.

He is familiar with the Morphettville track having begun his career there before Cozamanis moved to Victoria.


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