One-time VRC Oaks favourite Celestial Falls will miss the race but her trainer Mark Newnham still has the chance for Classic glory in Melbourne.
Shadow Hero assumed favouritism for Saturday’s Victoria Derby with his Group One victory in the Spring Champion Stakes in which he beat Castelvecchio.
The Spring Champion form looks even better now with Castelvecchio’s second in Saturday’s Cox Plate won by Japanese mare Lys Gracieux.
Celestial Falls, winner of the VRC Oaks Trial earlier this month, developed a raised temperature last week.
“She has improved a bit but she won’t run in the Oaks,” Newnham said.
“We will give her a spell and look to the autumn.”
Newnham, who operates two Sydney stables at Randwick and Warwick Farm, was in Melbourne to watch Greysful Glamour win at The Valley on Friday night and rode Shadow Hero in a gallop the following morning.
Race jockey Josh Parr will make the trip from Sydney to ride him in another gallop at Flemington on Tuesday.
“I rode him on Saturday and he felt really good,” Newnham said.
“Josh will come down and gallop him on the course proper tomorrow.”
Newnham has no concerns about the 2500 metres of the Derby.
“It’s new to all the horses but I don’t think he will have any trouble getting the distance,” he said.
“He’s fit and well and has settled in nicely.
“Greysful Glamour has come through her race in good order and she will head to the Matriarch Stakes.”