In a disappointing blow, quality three-year-old Top Of The Pops has been ruled out of the Ascot Pinnacles carnival after a track work accident last week.
Trainer Dan Morton had high hopes for Top Of The Pops and rated him as a leading contender for the Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m) on November 19.
Morton’s high regard for Top Of The Pops gathered momentum in the winter after the gelding collected four straight wins in an unbeaten maiden campaign.
The son of Spirit Of Boom suffered his first defeat when returning in the Crown Perth 3YO Classic (1000m) two weeks ago, but lost no admirers with a slashing fourth to Snowdome.
“It was just an innocent thing at the track,” Morton said.
“He just literally stumbled, scared himself and took off.
“By doing that he overreached and injured a muscle.
“He’ll be fine and there is a lot of optimism he will get back to racing.
“He just needs to be rested for six to eight weeks.
“It’s disappointing because I thought he was going to be right amongst it.
“I feel for all the owners and connections.
“All things being equal he’ll be back in the autumn.”
Meanwhile Rob Heathcote says a top three finish by Rothfire in Friday’s Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley will determine if the five-year-old travels to Perth.
Following his victory in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) and a fifth at his previous start in the Group 1 Moir Stakes in September, the Rothesay gelding resumes of a short break.
Rothfire has been entered for two $1.5 million races in Perth: the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on November 26 and The Goldrush (1400m) a fortnight later.
“It’s a genuine possibility he is coming to Perth,” Heathcote said.
“He would need to finish in the first three on Friday, a lot will hinge on that.
“He will go next to the Champions Sprint (1200m), which is three weeks to the Winterbottom.”
Rothfire has drawn barrier five in the Manikato and will be ridden by Damian Lane.
Heathcote prepared Buffering to win the 2013 Winterbottom Stakes.