Veteran gelding Metal Bender has been scratched from the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and is expected to be retired after being found with heat in a tendon this morning.
Metal Bender has made a habit of fighting back from career-threatening injuries, making his latest return to racing in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago after 18 months on the sidelines, but trainer Chris Waller believes it is unlikely that the eight-year-old would ever race again.
“I’d say that would be the end this time, he has got a bit of heat in his tendon,” Waller told TVN.
“You can always push on but we know the end result, it wouldn’t be right thing to do.
“As soon as you get the heat in the tendon when they have had previous problems it is only a matter of time until they go completely and that is the last thing in the world we want.”
Metal Bender performed well first-up in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m), working home strongly to finish sixth behind Veyron, and Waller was confident that the son of Danasinga could be competitive at the highest level of racing this campaign and included him in the nominations for both the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the Cox Plate (2040m).
“He is very, very good horse, only two starts ago he won the George Ryder Stakes, the sky was the limit for that horse if he was perfectly sound,” Waller said.
Metal Bender was victorious at Group 1 level on four occasions, winning the Randwick Guineas (1600m) and Rosehill Guineas (2000m) as a three-year-old in 2009, the 2010 Doomben Cup (2000m) after fighting back from a fractured leg as a four-year-old and the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) during the 2012 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Waller is still well represented in the Chelmsford Stakes with Beaten Up, Kelinni, Moriarty, Bayrir and Hawkspur all set to contest the race.