Lofty Strike’s racing future in Victoria is under a cloud
Lofty Strike’s racing future in Victoria is under a cloud, with the state’s governing body refusing to confirm if the unbeaten youngster will be cleared to return to the track even if he passes a series of extensive veterinary tests.
Racing Victoria placed an embargo on the colt and ordered he undergo significant diagnostic imaging following his controversial withdrawal from last month’s Blue Diamond Stakes, when an RV vet and another contracted vet observed the horse to be lame in his off fore leg 48 hours before the race.
While trainer Julius Sandhu and his stable vet have acknowledged the horse has an awkward-looking sesamoid, which dates back to his purchase as a yearling, they maintain that the two-year-old is completely sound.
The blueblood was initially passed in at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale before being purchased by Lofty Thoroughbred Group for $280,000.
When asked to confirm whether Lofty Strike will be allowed to race if he passes the required tests but maintains the same gait during a trot-up, RV offered no response.
In a statement released to Racing.com, it said its veterinary team will have ultimate discretion as to whether the embargo on the horse is lifted.
“Following discussions with trainer Julius Sandhu, it has been recommended that the stable undertake a comprehensive lameness investigation on Lofty Strike, including potential diagnostic imaging, and present these reports to RV’s veterinary team,” the statement said.
“In addition, Lofty Strike will be required to undergo an inspection by RV veterinarians, which will give consideration to whether the horse is displaying lameness and, if so, to what degree.
“Ultimately, it is the RV veterinary team who need to provide clearance for the embargo to be removed on Lofty Strike and for the colt to be permitted to resume racing.”
Sandhu has sent Lofty Strike for a spell but hopes to aim the son of Snitzel at some of the spring’s premier three-year-old races.