The Macedon Lodge team’s reliance on Sunday’s Underwood Stakes favourite Homesman to claim a spring feature has become that much more pressing following confirmation that Johannes Vermeer will miss another spring carnival.
Injury has prevented the 2017 placegetter in both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup from racing more than once since in last autumn’s Blamey Stakes.
But after having a spring preparation, owner Lloyd Williams confirmed on Monday the class galloper is again on the sidelines.
The news has further thinned the six-time Melbourne Cup winner’s spring carnival team, which is also lacking the 2017 Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling among a handful of other imports that have not yet made a mark in this country.
Apart from Homesman, who has the Cox Plate as his ultimate aim after tackling Sunday’s G1 Underwood Stakes, there is Cups horse Yucatan, who did little when first-up in the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) as well as the emerging King Of Leogrance, who is building towards attempting to earn a Melbourne Cup spot via the Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 5.
The former Irish galloper Johannes Vermeer’s time in Australia has been mixed with three Group 1 placings to kick off his opening campaign in 2017 before a string of injuries has left the now seven-year-old’s racing career in doubt.
Williams has at least three spring carnival horses due to arrive in Melbourne from the UK next month but the trio – Master Of Reality, Latrobe and Twilight Payment – are all coming off sound defeats at their latest runs in the G1 Irish St Leger Stakes (2816m) earlier this month.
Homesman (USA), picture Quentinjlang.com