Smart Call winning the J&B Met at Kenilworth
PICTURE: Equine Edge
By Keith Melrose 12:58PM 1 OCT 2016
SMART CALL, the South African-trained mare who had been aimed at the Sun Chariot Stakes en route to a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Filly And Mare Turf, will not run at Newmarket on Saturday due to lameness.
The Alec Laird-trained mare won the J&B Met, one of South Africa’s biggest races, in January and she has been based in Newmarket since July, but a cruel 11th-hour blow means that she will miss the Sun Chariot and head straight to Santa Anita instead.
Steve Jell, spokesman for Laird, said: “She was lame when we trotted her up this morning and we couldn’t take a risk. If it was a maiden we might but as she’s a valuable broodmare we couldn’t. It’s annoying but hopefully she’ll come right for the Breeders Cup.”
Smart Call had been scheduled to be just Laird’s second runner in Britain, after London News finished third in the 1997 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, won by Bosra Sham.
Smart Call’s absence reduces the Sun Chariot field to eight, leaving each-way punters praying that another contender does not come out.
Alice Springs, an impressive winner of the Group 1 Matron Stakes last month, heads the betting at 6-4, while second favourite Ervedya has attracted a spot of support and is into 7-2 (from 4-1).
Smart Call had been a general 12-1 shot prior to her withdrawal.