One stumble won't cost Harness Jewels winner Heaven Rocks his shot at Breeders Crown glory.
The exciting three-year-old pacing talent looked to have ended his hopes of a tilt at the rich prize in Victoria next month when he galloped for no reason in his two-horse heat at Addington last Friday.
Once again showing his inexperience, Heaven Rocks raced erratically, finishing a distant second to Franco Christiano, who instead automatically qualified for the ABC semifinals next month. But while some thought was given to spelling Heaven Rocks after the mishap, he will now head to Victoria to try to qualify for the semis.
"The owners are still keen to go so he will be heading there," said co-trainer Mark Purdon.
That gives the Purdon-Rasmussen stable the two favourites in the three-year-old division of the ABC, with Waikiki Beach having already won his heat in Sydney.
The stable will also have Harness Jewels winners Custodian and Partyon in the ABC as well as Pacing Major and My MacKenzie, the latter also already qualified in Sydney. But one three-year-old who won't be heading to Australia is Shandale, who won his ABC heat at Cambridge on Thursday night.
Trainer Maurice McKendry says he couldn't justify the trip knowing his stable star would only be third favourite for the final at best.
"It is hard to go unless you think you are going to win so he will have a short spell now.
"I won't give him too long out though.
"I don't want him getting too fat so he will be back in the spring."