It appears Melbourne Cup hero Prince of Penzance has run his last race.
The Darren Weir-trained stayer, who claimed a longshot win in the race that stops a nation last year, is likely to be retired after badly injuring a leg in Saturday’s group 2 Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield.
Weir’s racing manager Jeremy Rogers told The Courier that it was planned for the horse to undergo surgery to insert screws in his off-side foreleg on Sunday or Monday.
Rogers didn’t want to comment on the horse’s potential racing future, but admitted the injury is a big blow to the stable.
“Obviously it’s disappointing because he looked to be on track for another crack at the Melbourne Cup,” Rogers said.
“We were really pleased with his run and thought he was on track for another tilt at it.
“It’s up to the owners to decide if they want to continue or pull the pin (on his career).”
Prince of Penzance pulled up lame after his fourth placing on Saturday and following further inspection, it was revealed that there is a fracture in the leg.
The horse was ridden by John Allen and finished solidly to be beaten 3.2 lengths behind winner Assign.
Allen was set to ride in his first Melbourne Cup aboard the horse, which was having his fifth run since claiming the historic win in November last year.
On Saturday, Michelle Payne rode against the horse she partnered to that memorable victory in the 2015 Cup, with her mount Dandy Gent finishing last in the field of six runners.
Payne took to Twitter after learning of Prince of Penzance’s injury.
“Very sad to see this beautiful horse injured today! Comforting to know he's in great hands at The Ballarat Vet Practice! #superstar,” she tweeted.
Payne has steered Prince of Penzance, a seven-year-old gelding by Pentire, to all seven of his career wins, which have amassed more than $4.4million in prizemoney.
The horse was set to run in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup on Saturday, October 22 before heading to defend his Melbourne Cup crown next month.
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