Promising three-year-old stayer Mongolian Wolf has been scratched from the Rough Habit Plate at Doomben because of transport problems but is still expected to contest the Queensland Derby.
The Darren Weir-trained Mongolian Wolf and stablemate Neverland were stranded in Melbourne when they could not make a flight to Brisbane.
Weir scratched both at the first opportunity yesterday morning.
Mongolian Wolf, who would have been the short-priced favourite in the Rough Habit Plate, will now run at Caulfield today.
He will accompany stablemate Articus, the Doomben Cup favourite, to Queensland by float early next week. Syndicate head Jamie Lovett told RadioTAB Mongolian Wolf was still headed to the Queensland Derby on June 10 after he runs at Caulfield.
The Doomben track is rated a soft (7) for today's meeting after no rain fell overnight.
Track manager Jim Roberts said provided it remained fine the track should recover further.
"We got caught by 10 millimetres of rain on Monday as the track had been fertilised. I would hope the rating will be better by Saturday," Roberts said "But they are predicting up to six millimetres tomorrow so hopefully it will miss us or they are wrong." After watching the Kentucky Derby from the Churchill Downs stand as a fan, Chris Waller will be back to business at Scone.
Louisville and Scone may seem worlds apart but the two-day carnival in the NSW Hunter Valley is close to Waller's heart.
The Scone crowd will be minuscule compared to the 145,000 at Churchill Downs who witnessed Always Dreaming win the Derby's 143rd edition but Sydney's premier trainer still drew comparisons with the NSW town.
"Louisville has 800,000 people but it's realistically a country town. It's the breeding hub of America as is Scone (in Australia).
"There's a lot of similarities between there and Scone. There's fantastic open spaces, a lot of history." Waller lines up Shillelagh, Tsaritsa and Elle Lou in the Dark Jewel Classic today.
He rates Shillelagh as his leading hope on the strength of her last-start win in the Godolphin Crown at Hawkesbury.
The five-year-old mare's win on April 29 enabled her to rebound back from a disappointing 17th in the Coolmore Classic on an unhelpful soft track at Rosehill on March 11.
"I'm very happy with Shillelagh, she bounced back on a better (good) track although she goes up in the weights a bit."
Shillelagh ($9.50) renews her rivalry with the Ron Quinton-trained Daysee Doom ($4.60), who was runner up in the Godolphin Crown.
While Shillelagh enters the Dark Jewel in winning form, fellow mares Tsaritsa and Elle Lou are $15 chances.
Farm Boy, the Tim and Margaret Carter-trained Avondale Cup winner and dual group one placegetter, has been retired after bleeding in a track gallop.
He has since begun training for his new role as a clerk of the course horse with Terry Wenn.
"He was a pretty special horse to us and we think it's fantastic that he will have a career after racing," Margaret Carter said.
"Terry Wenn has been wanting him for clerk of the course duties. He's a grey and such a pleasure to do anything with so he should be great in his new job. It's great that he can have such a good life after racing."
Bred and raced by Allan Hayward, Farm Boy won five of his 39 starts, highlighted by his narrow win over King Kamada and Rock Diva in the 2015 Avondale Cup at Ellerslie.
He was beaten a nose and a long head by Sakhee's Soldier and Rising Romance at his next start in the New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie and went on to place in the Counties Cup and the following year's Avondale Cup before placing fresh-up in the Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) at Hastings earlier this season.
- AAP, NZ Racing Desk