Pounamu’s Melbourne campaign over

Pounamu, shown here with jockey Patrick Carbery at Ascot, has been scratched from the Underwood Stakes due to a minor injury. Picture: Anita McInnes


WA racehorse of the year and 2017 Kingston Town winner Pounamu’s tilt at this year’s Melbourne Cup is over.

Pounamu has been scratched from the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield today Sunday, September 30 due to an injury.

This morning trainer Alan Mathews of Muchea told Yanchep News Online that Pounamu had sprained his off front leg.

Mathews, who said he was down the beach trying to keep himself occupied, said the gelding had a bit of heat in the leg but was not lame.

“It’s not sore but there is something there and it’s not quite right,’’ he said.

“He’s going back to his owner’s in NSW and will go to the paddock.’’

Mathews said the injury while minor was a bit soul-destroying but that was horse racing and it was not as though something had happened to one of your children.

He said when the seven-year-old had galloped last Saturday the rider said how good he had felt.

When she rode him again on Thursday she said something was annoying him.

Mathews said it was possible the injury had happened when he copped interference in the first 200m of the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 15.

He said Pounamu could be in the paddock for two months or longer.

“It’s a minor injury but it’ll take as long as it takes (to heal).’’

In August Pounamu and Material Man were named joint WA racehorse of the year winners at the Western Australian Racehorse Owners’ Association awards.

Kingston Town Classic winner Pounamu was also named the 2017-18 WAROA Horserail Australia Northerly four-year-old and older racehorse of the year.

In June Mathews said the gelding’s owners wanted him to race over east so the goals of either the Caulfield Cup (2400m) or the Melbourne Cup (3200m) were being considered.

Mathews said everything would have to go really well for Pounamu to get to either race but there were few races suitable for him in Perth in spring now especially as he seemed to be wanting more distance.

He said there had been some encouragement from Victoria Racing including their chief handicapper Greg Carpenter for Pounamu to head east.