A training injury has sidelined AKUTA  for an indefinite period and he will not be travelling to Australia for the Hunter Cup.

Mark and Nathan announced this yesterday and said DON’T STOP DREAMING would now be the Hunter Cup runner for the stable. He is due to fly to Melbourne next Wednesday.

The stable will have to wait some time to find the extent of Akuta’s problem with a worst case scenario in some quarters put at up to 12 months but expected to be shorter. In some cases of which Mark is aware the rest period has been a matter of weeks rather than months.

“He stumbled while working ” Mark said

“He didn’t go down but the shoe on the leg coming through struck the tendon”

“We don’t know the long term prognosis. We have to wait for all the swelling to recede before a proper scan can be done and that usually takes two to three weeks”

It is a major blow but in some cases we know recovery has been quite quick. But not quick enough to be going anywhere”

The departure to Australia was first to allow Don’t Stop Dreaming to fully recover from foot bruising then compounded by Akuta’s injury and the  Ballarat Cup  crossed off the list.

Generally regarded as New Zealand’s best pacer last year, Akuta’s luck seemed to run out a little late in the year with seconds  in both the NZ Cup and NZ Free for All when warm favourite and and then third to  Don’t Stop Dreaming in the Franklin Cup on December 31 when giving the younger horse 15m on a slushy track.

He has won 16 of his 31 starts and $1.1m in stakes,originally for Mark and the late Ian Dobson whose share is now held by members of his family.

Don’t Stop Dreaming starting in the Hunter Cup means he will miss the rich G1 Bonanza in Sydney as a leadup to the Chariots of Fire

“He can’t do both but there are two lesser races through which he can qualify for the Chariots and we will aim at one of them”

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