Danacourt, one of Hong Kong's best hopes in the International Races in December, is injured and will miss his comeback race at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Trainer John Size said yesterday that Danacourt had significant swelling in one front fetlock joint and had done no formal trackwork since October 16.
"Unfortunately, there was no option but to miss Sunday's race," Size said. "There is still inflammation around the fetlock joint, though we've had it X-rayed and scanned and it shows no damage. But the swelling's still there and I can't work him until that goes down."
Danacourt has been limited to swimming for the past week as Size battles to keep the chestnut's fitness levels up to scratch without putting any stress on the troublesome front joint.
However, the four-time premier trainer has not given up hope of getting Danacourt to the HK$16 million Hong Kong Mile on December 10. "Obviously, this situation is not ideal but we still have time to get him there," he said.
At Danacourt's only start in Group One company he ran second to Bullish Luck in the Champions Mile on May 7, with Joyful Winner third. It was a formline that looked even more spectacular after Bullish Luck and Joyful Winner secured Hong Kong an identical one-three result in Japan's top mile race, the Yasuda Kinen on June 4.
Size has Danacourt's unbeaten stablemate, Armada, entered for the Premier Bowl, in which the weights are heavily compressed because of the presence of 2005 World Racing Champion Vengeance Of Rain, the top-ranked galloper on a rating of 130.
Armada, who boasts a six from six scoreline, is rated 110 and will receive 20 pounds from Vengeance Of Rain, who heads the handicap with 133 pounds.
Trainer David Ferraris said Vengeance Of Rain was back on song after a virus ruled him out of his intended comeback race, the Sha Tin Mile Trophy, on October 15.
"He's fine in himself and his blood picture is back to normal again," Ferraris said.
"He did a nice piece of work on Monday and did it really well. I'll give him his final sprint-up in the morning and that will have him ready to run a good race, I'm sure.
"He'll then have his next race in the International Mile Trial on November 19, and then it's the Hong Kong Cup." from scmp
that's too bad.~