Alan Mathews believes his star grey gelding Pounamu may have run his last race in Perth after he was forced to abandon his Melbourne spring campaign.
Pounamu was scratched from Sunday’s Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield and the Muchea trainer is uncertain about his future.
“The trainer is coming home on Tuesday and the horse is going to the owner’s (John Thompson) property in New South Wales on Wednesday,” Matthews said.
“I don’t really know what the owner has in mind, but my gut feeling is he won’t be coming back to Perth.
“I’m hoping he has a good spell and I get a call saying he is right to come back home to Perth in the autumn.
“It’s disappointing and I’m not the happiest about it, but that is the owner’s prerogative and his call to make.”
Pounamu ends his eastern states campaign on a low note after he copped early interference and ran a distant last in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington two weeks ago.
Mathews was optimistic Pounamu could bounce back in the Underwood Stakes after an excellent track gallop last Saturday, but the seven-year-old suffered a setback on Thursday.
“His work last Saturday was good, but the girl who rode him on Thursday said he was not quite right,” Mathews said.
“He has minor swelling in his joint, it’s nothing serious, but it was enough to pull the pin on this current campaign.
“If it was up to me we wouldn’t have come to Melbourne, I would have preferred staying at home and targeting our races.”
Pounamu commenced his racing career in Sydney with Allan Denham before crossing the Nullarbor to Perth.
For Mathews he won 10 races including the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic (1800m), the Group 2 Ted Van Heemst Stakes (2100m), the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes (1400m) and Listed Detonator Stakes (1800m).