Hanging in the balance

By Michael Guerin 

Temporale’s chances of chasing a second Rowe Cup hang in the balance.

 But trainer-driver Tony Herlihy hopes to have a better guide as to whether he can make the Auckland carnival by later in the week.

 Temporale threw a spanner in Herlihy’s works when he pulled up during the open class workout at Pukekohe on Saturday suffering from atrial fibrillation.

 While many horses can quickly return to normal after the heart problem, Temporale was still slightly out of rhythm today so will head to the vet clinic.

 “Sometimes when they fibrillate its not a big deal but this time he has taken a while to come back to normal,” said Herlihy.

 “So he can go to the vet and get worked on and hopefully he will be back to normal soon and we can press on to the Rowe Cup meeting.

 “But it is a setback. Not only does it mean we are starting to get close to the Anzac Cup (April 26) but also because he stopped he didn’t really have a run on Saturday.” That workout was won in impressive style by Massive Metro and he heads to the open class mile at Alexandra Park this Friday to take on Lemond, a race Temporale could have used to start his autumn campaign.

 He now faces going into the Anzac Cup fresh up if he is to be ready for the Rowe Cup on May 3, a race Temporale won two years ago and ran third in last season.

 If he doesn’t make the carnival the rangy trotter then quickly runs out of major open class targets for the rest of a season which has already been a rollercoaster ride for him.

 His most profitable performance of the season was his close second in the Great Southern Star at Melton in January.

Temporale isn’t the only former Rowe Cup winner whose participation in this year’s carnival is unsure, with Monbet trying to book himself a trip via Rangiora on Sunday.

 The exceptional trotter missed last Friday’s NZ Trotting Champs after developing a splint in a hind leg but his trainers the Hopes are confident it is not a major problem.

 “He jogged fine this morning and we have nominated him for Rangiora on Sunday,” said Ben Hope, son of trainer Greg and Nina.

 “So he is goes well there then we would like to head to Auckland for the two races up there but we will no more after Sunday.”

 Meanwhile, Victorian trainer Andy Gath is still undecided whether former Kiwi trotter McLovin will come to the carnival.

 He has won seven of eight for Gath in Australia and could return home for both the Anzac and Rowe Cups after another win at Melton last Saturday.

 “I haven’t completely made up my mind yet but I am leaning toward going,” said Gath.

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