Xtravagant’s stop-start season has been halted again with the long-time favourite a non-runner in the Group One Telegraph at Trentham featuring Australian sprinter Odyssey Moon.
Te Akau Racing, which is headed by David Ellis, said on Twitter the four-year-old’s work had been below-par on Tuesday morning, four days out from the prestigious race.
“Unfortunately we weren’t satisfied with Xtravagant’s gallop this morn attended by David Ellis – will be withdrawing him from the Telegraph,” Te Akau said.
Start Wondering, the winner of the Group One Railway, is the new $4 favourite with the NZ TAB while the Robert Smerdon-trained Odyssey Moon is on the fourth line of betting at $7.
A dual Group One winner in New Zealand trained by Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, Xtravagant failed twice in the Melbourne spring and was taken home amid concerns he had an underlying injury.
All tests were clear and he had been working well towards the Telegraph until Tuesday’s hit-out which jockey Opie Bosson described as only fair.
Odyssey Moon, the winner of the Group Three Standish Handicap on New Year’s Day at Flemington, will be trying to enhance his future at stud with a Group One win.
His best performance at the highest level so far is his second as a two-year-old in the 2015 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes.