News & Events

Injured Cooney well enough to watch Breeders Crown

By Michael Guerin

Injured horseman Frank Cooney will be allowed to watch his stable star Let’s Elope chase A$176,000 on Sunday but not much else.

Because Cooney has been placed on very light duties - and that includes a reduction in time watching television - after a tough week of recovery.

Cooney was knocked unconscious in a race accident at Alexandra Park on July 13, which saw him placed in an induced coma in hospital. He returned home three weeks ago but after initial steady progress has struggled in that last week with headaches and balance issues.

 “I think he has simply being trying to do too much,” said his wife Ann.

“He stayed up to watch Lets Elope race in Australia last Friday night but I think he overdid it.

“We have an appointment to see the neurologist this week and I think he will have to take things easier.

“So he will definitely be watching the race on Sunday but not much else.”

Lets Elope was a group one-winning juvenile and after struggling earlier this season developed strength to match his speed by late autumn, carrying him to second in Smolda’s sensational Jewels and maintaining strong Alexandra Park winter form. He initially looked disappointing when only fourth in the weaker of the two semi-finals last Friday night at Melton but was squeezed for space at the top of the straight and both caretaker trainer Barry Purdon and driver Todd MacFarlane are adamant he will strip fitter on Sunday.

His biggest plus is that he has drawn barrier three and has blazing gate speed, perhaps enough to cross to the lead and give MacFarlane options, which could include trailing one of the favourites, Texican or Fly Like An Eagle. Most Australian bookmakers are keeping Lets Elope safe at between $6 and $8.50.

But the money has come this week for Canterbury filly Its Onlyforyou in the A$303,000 juvenile pacing final, with a steady stream of bets for her stablemate Texican against Lets Elope and Fly Like An Eagle.