Exit stage left Di Caprio
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Di Caprio’s IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup campaign is over.
The Brian O’Meara-trained entire had been in career best form, however, a troubling corn burst after his win in the Group 3 New Brighton Cup (2600m) last month, prompted the decision to send him for a spell.
“It goes back to the corn that he got. After he won it burst out the top of the coronet and the split from the coronet down was about an inch,” O’Meara said.
Three corns were found in Di Caprio’s feet last year and while O’Meara was able to take care of two of them, the third proved more difficult.
“At the end of last year after I spelled him following The Cup meeting, we checked his feet and he had corns in three feet,” O’Meara said.
“We got rid of two of them but this was a deep-seated one and it was hard to get out. We thought we were on top of it, but it started to show up.
“For the last year he has never warmed up quite right. Samantha (Ottley) and Ricky (May) said he didn’t stretch out when he first goes out.”
Now that the corn has burst, O’Meara said he will give Di Caprio a couple of months in the paddock before setting the rising seven-year-old for Autumn targets.
“We will give him two months off and then I am going to set him for the Easter Cup,” O’Meara said.
“He will wear special shoes from now on. The vets think that if we keep the pressure away from where that corn is, with a special shoe, and he doesn’t have weight-bearing on it, that corn will take up.”
While disappointed, O’Meara was philosophical about the setback.
“That is life, they are a great leveler racehorses,” he said.
O’Meara will turn 78-years-old in the coming month and while he was hoping to mark it with another tilt at the New Zealand Cup, he said he will have to settle with working a couple of promising youngsters.
“I have got a good feeling that if we look after the horse, I am sure he will look after us,” O’Meara said.
“I have got a couple that go quite nice, so we will see how they go.”
Franco Niven, Somekindawonderful and Warloch have also been withdrawn from the Cup, and Spy Da Man has been withdrawn from the Dominion.