Eleonora out, but all go for Jon Snow

Eleonora (Danielle Johnson) beating Dreamcrafter at Ellerslie to show she was on target for Sydney.

Eleonora (Danielle Johnson) beating Dreamcrafter at Ellerslie to show she was on target for Sydney.

Injury has counted the leading filly Eleonora out of a return trip to Australia.

“She was lame after she galloped on Saturday and she’s got a slight muscle tear,” said Andrew Forsman, who prepares the daughter of Makfi with Murray Baker.

Eleonora’s setback is a bitter blow as she had showed she was on target for the A$1 million Gr.1 Australian Oaks with a resuming second against the older horses last month then went one better to claim the Gr.3 Sunline Vase.

“It’s gutting, but at least it’s not a long-term issue and she’ll be fine in time,” said Forsman.

Stakes-placed last season, Eleonora broke her maiden at Geelong in the spring before she won the Gr.3 Ethereal Stakes at Caulfield and finished third in the Gr.1 VRC Oaks.

Meanwhile, stablemate Jon Snow will be in action in Sydney with the Iffraaj colt set to make his Australian debut on Saturday week.

“He’ll run in the Tulloch Stakes and if he runs well he’ll go to the Derby,” said Forsman.

Jon Snow has been in excellent form this preparation without collecting a major reward.

He was placed in the Gr.1 Levin Classic, the Gr.2 Great Northern Guineas and the Listed Karaka Mile before he also finished a last-start third in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby.

“He’s very brave and honest and a bit of rain would suit him,” said Forsman.

The stable also has upcoming Group One hopes on the domestic front with Bonneval and Nicoletta among the leading fancies in Saturday’s Gr.1 Wellfield New Zealand Oaks at Trentham.

“We’re really happy with both of them,” said Forsman. “Probably the only way to split them is that Nicoletta has been in work for a while and Bonneval is a filly on the way up.”

– NZ Racing Desk.