By Michael Guerin
New Zealand’s assault on the Inter Dominions has ended on a sad note with long-time trotting series favourite Bolt For Brilliance forced out of the series by injury and set to miss the next six months.
The Rowe Cup winner was found to have a fractured pedal bone after pulling up lame following his brave second in a heat of the series at Geelong on Saturday night.
He was examined by a veterinarian yesterday and Joshua Dickie, who was looking after Bolt For Brilliance as trainer Tony Herlihy returned to New Zealand for the weekend, relayed the bad news to the champion horseman at Addington.
“It is really unfortunate and I feel for him and the other owners,” said a disappointed Herlihy.
“While I am still getting the info second hand it sounds like he will need 6-8 weeks box rest and then a spell but at least he is likely to be able to race again.”
Bolt For Brilliance got as short at $1.70 to win the trotting series after an effortless heat win at Ballarat last Saturday and was still a warm favourite even after a luckless second in his Shepparton heat on Tuesday and being outsprinted by Just Believe at Geelong on Saturday.
His injury ends a rough spring for the wonderful horse but Herlihy and his owners can at least take heart, this time last year Copy That went to Victoria, fractured a leg and came back to win the New Zealand Cup last month.
Bolt For Brilliance’s sad exit means no New Zealand-trained horse will contest either the pacing or trotting finals at Melton on Saturday.