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Brisbane three-year-old Hardline is out of the Melbourne spring carnival with a wind problem which requires surgery.

The New Zealand Karaka Million winner in January, Hardline had been booked to go to Melbourne this week ahead of a tilt at the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes.

But trainer Liam Birchley pulled the plug on the trip after the gelding was scoped.

Birchley was stunned on Saturday when Hardline, who had won his first two starts since a spell in brilliant fashion, ran last in a race at Doomben.

“He appeared to be sound when we got him back to the stables and we decided to scope him because the run was too bad to be true,” Birchley said.

“Hardline has a wind problem and will need an operation. There is usually a six-week turnaround but we might give him an extra month off.”

“There were no signs of a wind problem leading into the race.”

In another setback for Birchley his promising four-year-old Desert General will not be running on Saturday after an unscheduled gallop.

“He got away and had a gallop up Nudgee Road and then when he got to the stables he slipped and took some skin off,” Birchley said.

“It is nothing serious but he will miss this week.”

 
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