Simon Foster breathed a huge sigh of relief when vets uncovered nothing seriously amiss with Prentice and says a Melbourne campaign remains on the agenda for the son of Blackfriars.
The Bunbury trainer conceded he feared the worst and said he was utterly devastated after Prentice finished last behind Raising Dubai at his first attempt over 2000m at Belmont on Saturday.
“It was gut-wrenching to see him run like that because he has never put in that type of performance,” said Foster.
“He had a slight infection with swelling in his jaw and neck and the vets were adamant he couldn’t stretch out.
“He is being treated with antibiotics and already he is showing a 50 per cent improvement from Saturday.”
Despite the setback Foster says Prentice will press ahead with plans to contest the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 1.
“He left on Wednesday and everything is back on track and I will pursue my original plans,” said Foster.
“I admit it’s a roll of the dice and somewhat of a risk but you only get one chance to have a crack at a Derby.
“I wouldn’t have taken him on Saturday’s run but we have found the problem and he is responding to treatment.”
Foster is confident he can play a strong hand on home turf when the Bunbury Turf Club hold their opening meeting of the season on Sunday.
He has a strong team engaged for the nine event card including Reset’s Mate who he rates highly in the main feature: the Busselton Cup (2000m).
Reset’s Mate fronts up on his favourite track after consecutive sixth placings in the Boulder Cup (2100m) and Kalgoorlie Cup (2300m).
“He is fit and well and races well in Bunbury,” said Foster.
“He was only beaten four lengths in Kalgoorlie.
“Dropping back in restricted grade he will be right in the firing line.”
Reset’s Mate will be in the hands of apprentice Emma Stent who rode the gelding when second to the highly promising Zarantz at Belmont last month.
Julio Santarelli: RWWA