Lemond not heading South

By Michael Guerin

Lemond has joined the sadly growing team of northern stars who won’t be heading to Christchurch for Cup week.

 Trainer Ross Paynter says last season’s Dominion placegetter is going to be allowed to miss Cup week and stay closer to home for the Inter Dominions in Auckland.

 “He has just had a few issues since his last start,” says Paynter.

 “He has had some hoof problems and on top of that he has been a bit lethargic.

 “I don’t know if one is causing the other or whether he has had a low-grade virus. But he isn’t himself at the moment so he won’t be going down.”

Paynter says while he would leave to be at the carnival the pain of missing it is eased by the fact the Interdoms are just around the corner.

 Lemond joins National Trot winner Massive Metro and top gun pacer Star Galleria as northern open class stars who will now miss Cup week, meaning the northern open class team will be one of the smallest in decades.

 Three or four northern three-year-olds could however make the trip for the Sires’ Stakes Final depending on the result of the final heat at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

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