Mark won’t be confident AKUTA can take his place in the Auckland Cup next Friday and HIGH  ENERGY misses the Trotting  Derby until next week after both were hit with hoof infections on the eve of the Roy Purdon Memorial night at Alexandra Park.

“High Energy  has a front foot problem and Akuta a rear foot problem. We can’t assess at this stage how fast the recovery will be but they are not certain to be starting at the moment. That could change over the weekend” Mark said.

The incident robs the Purdon Memorial of some interest with Self Assured the stable elect anyway on race eve but Akuta’s defection removing his major threat to winning honours.

Akuta had already been allowed to miss the Messenger and was relying on tonight’s race to top him off for the Auckland Cup and that is a further complication going into next week’s features. It will be over a month since he has raced and then over a mile in the Taylor Mile. In general it would be expected that both horses may recover without problems though High Energy has already missed the Sires Stakes Championship tonight compounding a slightly disappointing leadup run on a wet surface and facing a 2700 challenge in the Derby.

It could have been worse.At one stage Millwood Nike was under a cloud too but dodged the bullet and is fit to take her place tonight. All three injuries only surfaced on Thursday.

PIC: Akuta -missed a race he could have done with tonight

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