U May Cullect out of NZ Cup

By Jonny Turner

The lead up to New Zealand Cup has been robbed of one of its biggest talking points following the withdrawal of Southland sensation U May Cullect.

The winner of seven of his eight career starts will not line up in the great race for trainers Kirstin Barclay and Paul ‘Tank’ Ellis after suffering a small tear to a tendon.

Barclay, who is known for her positive outlook, admitted this year’s New Zealand Cup dream being over for U May Cullect was shattering news for her stable.

“Obviously I am gutted, but you have got to keep positive.”

U May Cullect had been suffering from a stone bruise since he ran sensationally quick sectionals in his season’s pipe-opener at Winton, earlier this month.

Barclay and Ellis were getting on top of that problem just as the tendon issue was developing in the horse’s opposite front leg.

“In the last couple of days the stone bruise was coming right, but then he started getting some heat in the other leg,” Barclay said.

That heat was discovered to be radiating from a small tear in the lower region of the horse’s tendon.

After scanning the tendon, vets recommended the horse have four to six months of rest.

Barclay said her stable vets were positive about U May Cullect’s chances of recovering from the injury and racing again.

“We are pretty positive and they are being pretty positive.”

“The main thing is if it heals up good so that he can race again and he has showed that he has done that with his previous injuries.”

U May Cullect made a meteoric rise from harness racing obscurity to be one of the leading contenders for this year’s New Zealand Cup after recovering from two previous tendon injuries.

The good news for the speedster’s legions of fans is that the horse has not reinjured one of his previously healed tendon tears.

“It is on the same leg, but it is lower down and it is not as serious.” Barclay said.

“So, we will get him back and rehab him and have another go next year.”

U May Cullect will be put aside for the rest of the season and aimed at next year’s spring racing.

The 6yr-old’s withdrawal from the New Zealand Cup had an immediate effect on the New Zealand Cup market.

The favourite, Spankem, was the most significant mover, tightening from $3.40 to $3.

The 5yr-old’s All Stars stablemate Ultimate Sniper moved in from $4.50 to $4.



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