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Power lame after Classic defeat

Slade Power returned lame behind after finishing down the field on his final competitive appearance in the Darley Classic at Flemington.

The Diamond Jubilee and July Cup hero has not had a straightforward preparation since his arrival in the southern hemisphere, with his renowned truculence entering the stalls a significant bone of contention for trainer Eddie Lynam.

Australian racing protocol requires horses to enter the stalls in barrier order, but Flemington stewards assured the County Meath handler Slade Power's safety would not be compromised and, in the end, he was one of the last to load ahead of the prestigious Group One contest.

The five-year-old travelled strongly for the first half of the race in the hands of Wayne Lordan and looked set to deliver his challenge on the far side of the track, but the response was limited when he came under pressure.

Lordan eventually accepted defeat and let Slade Power coast home in the closing stages, after which the injury was discovered.

Lynam told Press Association Sport: "He finished down the field and unfortunately he's come back injured behind. The vets are taking a look at him, but it looks as though he's pulled a muscle.

"It's a hard day, but these things happen and we've been well looked after since we arrived here.

"We gave it a go - nothing ventured, nothing gained.

"He went into the stalls third last. We were happy with that and there were no problems on that score, but unfortunately he's come back lame.

"It's his last run and he'll be going to Darley's Kildangan Stud in Ireland.

"I hope he recovers quickly and has a great career as a stallion."

Slade Power passed the post 11th of 13 runners, with victory going to the Joe Pride-trained Terravista, ridden by Hugh Bowman.

Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee were close up in second and third respectively.

"I think he's got as much improvement in him as any horse in this race. I know how good this horse is and, today, I'm glad he showed everybody else," Pride told The Age.

"All I've known all along is that he's the best horse I've ever trained.

"I've been pretty bullish about him - that's the way I play the game - but it's just lovely to see him pull it off today.

"He's a fantastic sprinter and is ready to take on the world."

Asked whether Terravista could be campaigned abroad next year, with Royal Ascot an obvious target, Pride said: "It's a consideration (to travel), but the prize-money has got to be there as well, because he's a gelding, so we are not running over there to stand at stud.

"We'll possibly be back here for a race like the Newmarket, but the Sydney autumn holds some nice riches for him as well."

Bowman said: " I think he can do better, without sounding ridiculous.

"He is such a relaxed horse. I can't tell you the feeling he gives you."


From Belfast Telegraph