Australian Guineas hope to miss the autumn 

By:
Scott Mcglynn
15/02/2024
Horse Racing Betting Tips
Horse Racing News
Australian Guineas hope to miss the autumn 

A massive blow for trainer Paul Preusker as his stable star Steparty is set to be sidelined through the autumn. 

News Insights

  • Five wins to start his career
  • Suffered first defeat in the Caulfield Guineas
  • Third in the Manfred on his only 2024 start
  • Pulse in a foot to rule him out

Steparty had the potential to be one of the top three-year-old colts this autumn, but he has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign with a pulse found in his foot by trainer Paul Preusker. It is not the first time the horse has had foot issues, so it is something that connections will have to solve. 

Taken out at the last minute from the Coolmore Stakes in the spring when an abscess was found on a foot, they have become the Achilles' heel once more for classy Steparty. He was due to run in the CS Hayes Stakes on Saturday, but connections are sending him to the spelling paddocks instead ahead of a return next spring.  

Unbeaten in first five starts 

From day one, Steparty looked like being a potential star. A couple of jump-out wins saw the horse racing bookmakers send him off just a $1.85 shot on debut, and he duly saluted in that Ballarat contest last May when given a confident ride from the front. 
 
He would win both of his subsequent starts as a two-year-old before making an early return as a three-year-old in the Listed MacKenzie Stakes at Moonee Valley in September. The move into Group 3 company was no problem for him when he came from further back in running than is usually the case to land the Guineas  

Prelude at Caulfield 

Caulfield Guineas' first defeat 
In the Caulfield Guineas itself, he would suffer his first race defeat, only able to finish third in his first try over 1600m. The two horses that finished in front of him that day were Griff and Veight, which is no disgrace on Steparty's first try in Group 1 company. 
 
Griff was one of the most progressive types last year, and although he could not beat a rival home on his only start in his autumn prep, he remains one with huge potential. Veight was last seen finishing fourth, only beaten 1.3l, behind Mr Brightside in the Orr Stakes last weekend, which shows the strength of the form that Steparty showed even without winning.  

Late scratch for the Coolmore Stakes  

His next aim was the Group 1 Coolmore Stakes on November 4 at Flemington, but he was found to have an abscess on his foot, which meant that he was a late scratch. He would have dropped to 1200m for this race, down from 1600m.  
 
Winner Ozzmosis had been touted as an Everest possible, with the third Shinzo one of the top two-year-old performers of last season when he saluted in the Golden Slipper. Veight was fifth, which suggests it is a race that will throw up plenty of winners this autumn. 

Manfred Stakes return  

Seen on a single occasion in 2024, he filled third again, this time in the Manfred Stakes. This was his drop to 1200m, and perhaps it was not ideal for him, chasing the pace set by the winner, Brave Mead, but could not live with him late on.  
 
The runner-up was King Colorado, who had finished behind Steparty in the Caulfield Guineas, so he was not at his best on that sole 2024 start, but it is easy to think that he would have been able to step up on that return to action. 

It is a massive shame that we will not see Steparty for a while, both for fans of the sport and for the small stable of Paul Preusker, who has had a single Group 1 winner in a training career spanning more than 30 years. His 98-rated star will be looked forward to when he returns in the spring.