Picture: JEFF GRIFFITH/UNSPLASH
Picture: JEFF GRIFFITH/UNSPLASH

In an exclusive interview, trainer Stuart Pettigrew has dropped a bombshell regarding Saturday’s R900,000 Emperors Palace Ready-To-Run Cup stating that his top filly, Anything Goes, will not run.

The Cup is one of several big races scheduled for Turffontein and the 1,400m race looked like a straight match between Anything Goes and Paul Matchett’s runner War Of Athena.

Pettigrew said: “I would like to inform everyone that sadly Anything Goes won’t take part in Saturday’s Ready-To-Run Cup as she rolled in the box and injured her wither. We have tried our best to treat it as well as we could with the vets, but I decided to scratch her from the race as it is the professional thing to do.

“Anything Goes has many more races in the future to go for. She is very special to me and I will think of her wellbeing before any race no matter how high the stake. She will be back in 100% condition to compete again.

“I must express my thanks to Mr Van Schalkwyk and Mr Marx for being behind me and with me in my decision,” said Pettigrew.

Bookmakers had quoted Anything Goes — unbeaten in her five starts — as the 13-20 favourite for Saturday’s race with War Of Athena on offer at 2-1.

Despite another wide draw, War Of Athena’s owners look poised for a big payday as the first cheque in the Cup is R450,000. The daughter of Act Of War cost only R30,000 as a yearling.

Three runners — MK’s Pride, Afternoon Tea and Somasonic — now rate the dangers to Paul Matchett’s filly. MK’s Pride is a member of the powerful Paul Peter stable and should go well with Warren Kennedy in the irons. The colt is far better drawn than another of Willow Magic’s progeny, Somasonic.

In the circumstances, the swinger coupling War Of Athena with Ashley Fortune’s runner, Afternoon Tea, looks the way to go. The daughter of Pathfork needed her most recent outing behind Invisible (runs in the Yellowwood Handicap) and has the huge advantage of barrier two.

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