Racing: Miami H latest star to fall to curse

By Michael Guerin

At this stage he will be out for at least six months and maybe more. Derek Balle, co-trainer The curse of last season's best 3-year-old trotters has struck again.

And it has left the career of Australasian Breeders Crown winner Miami H in jeopardy.

The exceptional young talent has been struck down by a cartilage problem, which required an operation and he will miss the entire season.

"At this stage he will be out for at least six months and maybe more," said co-trainer Derek Balle.

Miami H came back from his successful Breeders Crown campaign in August for a well-deserved spell after looking the most talented male of the 3-year-old trotting crop late in the season.

But just a month into his spell he was showing signs of soreness.

"He had depleted cartilage in one of his legs and it really didn't look good," said Balle.

"So he was operated on and will definitely be away from the track for at least six months. After that we may try stem cell therapy on him."

That means Miami H will miss what few decent 4-year-old trots there are but most importantly the Harness Jewels.

And it continues the horror run of some of the really big names of last season's 3-year-old trotting crop.

At different stages of last season, in chronological order, The Fiery Ginga, Shezoneoftheboyz, Kahdon and Miami H were all being lauded as potential champions. The Fiery Ginga simply hasn't got any better after being driven into the ground, Shezoneoftheboyz completely lost the plot over the autumn, Kahdon was sold for huge money then died and now Miami H is under a dark cloud.

The news is particularly gutting for the connections of Miami H because they thought long and hard about a huge offer for him in August before turning it down.

But he does have some residual value as a stallion, being by champion sire Muscles Yankee from former glamour mare Martina H, who should have won not one but two Interdominions Finals, throwing both away in the straight.

Meanwhile, the news is better for New Zealand's two other Breeders Crown winners in August.

Champion filly De Lovely pleased new trainer Ian Small with her third at the Alexandra Park workouts last Wednesday and will make her comeback on the same track this Friday night.

And 3-year-old pacing final winner, Devil Dodger, is looking good for trainers Brian Hughes and John Green as he gets through the early stages of his preparation for a return to the track in February.

He has been allowed to miss summer racing in favour of an autumn campaign and was rejoined this week at their South Auckland stables by Courage To Rule.

The Victoria Derby winner was spelled then jogged up in Queensland during the spring and will follow a similar preparation to Devil Dodger.

- NZ Herald

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