Spanish Mission’s departure to Australia has been delayed and will now miss its planned start at the Caulfield Cup next month.
The five-year-old was due to fly this weekend with the first shipment of Spring Carnival challengers, but after suffering muscle spasms while exercising in quarantine in Newmarket, he will not go as planned.
The charge of Andrew Balding, who was last seen finishing a narrow second against Stradivarius at the Lonsdale Cup in York, will now travel early next month, but the new rules mean he will not be allowed to contest the Caulfield Cup and, instead, it will plot a direct. route to the Melbourne Cup instead.
A statement from Racing Victoria said: “British coach Andrew Balding has informed Racing Victoria (RV) that Spanish Mission will no longer fly to Melbourne this weekend and will arrive on Saturday 9th October with a second shipment of international participants for the Spring Racing Carnival.
“The change in travel plans means that Spanish Mission will no longer contest the $ 5 million Carlton Draft Caulfield Cup on October 16 and will exclusively target the Lexus Melbourne Cup in Flemington on November 2.
Balding informed RV that Spanish Mission had suffered a slight setback (muscle spasms in the flanks) after the exercise while in Pre-Export Quarantine (PEQ) at Newmarket and had missed some mounted exercises as a result.
“The stable has chosen to take a cautious approach to the horse when he returns to exercise today and has therefore postponed his trip to the second shipment.”