Valuabelle’s winning run has come to an end after she suffered head injuries in a barrier mishap in the Derrinstown Stud Plate at Caulfield.
The four-year-old mare was chasing her fourth win a row in Saturday’s 1200-metre event when she dived at the gates just prior to the start, gashing her mouth and near-side eye.
Jockey Darren Gauci said there was no way Valuabelle should have been allowed to run but before a barrier attendant could alert the starter to the mare’s plight he let the field go.
“She charged the barrier and hit it really firm, splitting her mouth open and her eye,” Gauci said.
“She is bleeding and has a big hole in her mouth.
“The barrier attendant was yelling out to the starter ‘this horse needs to be looked at’ just as the starter has pressed the button.”
Valuabelle, who had won her last three starts at Moonee Valley, started at $5 and raced in the first four most of the way before dropping out to finish last of the eight runners.
Dennis O’Leary trains Valuabelle in the coastal tourist town of Normanville, 70km south of Adelaide.
The Mark Kavanagh-trained Cat’s Pyjamas ($2.90 fav) added to her first-up win at Caulfield two weeks ago with a strong half-length victory over Status Symbol ($12) with Avionics ($12) a head away third.
Cat’s Pyjamas has won four of her eight starts and assistant trainer Merv Harvey said she was a better mare this campaign.
“She’s probably matured a little bit and once she gets to the front she is a very hard horse to get past,” Harvey said.
“She gives her all every time and no doubt they would like to chase some black type with her now somewhere.”
Â AAP TURF