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Mattgregor out of Melbourne Feature

Plans for exciting Queensland pacer Mattgregor have hit a snag.

Fresh from his brutal thrashing of his rivals at TABCORP Park, Menangle on Saturday night in the Emmjay Warehousing Solutions Pace, he was set to head further south and contest this weekend’s Gr.2 $75,000 4 & 5yo Championship at Melton.

But those plans have now been shelved.

Instead, he will return home to Brisbane.

The Chantal Turpin and Pete McMullen prepared hulking five-year-old gelding didn’t pull up as well as expected and they won’t risk their star pacer in the Melbourne feature.

“We were thrilled with his effort in the race on the weekend but he hasn’t pulled up as well as we were hoping, we scratched Bettabe Perfect from his race owing to him being off because he didn’t travel well on the way down and maybe Bear (Mattgregor) has picked up something similar.” Turpin said.

Mattgregor, unbeaten this season from three starts, loomed as a major threat in the 4 & 5yo Championship where he was likely to meet a stack of talented up and comers including the likes of Shadow Sax, Let It Ride and Motu Meteor among others.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow for connections as this event has been earmarked for a number of months.

“It’s just rotten timing, everything for this campaign has been worked around this race but we’ve come up short at the last moment. The horse comes first and we won’t take any chances.

“There were no signs before the race and he performed like we expected but just over the past 24 hours, he hasn’t been as bright as he normally is and that concerned us.

“You need to be at your absolute best to take on a race like this and unfortunately he won’t be so we won’t make the trip for the sake of it. We’ll head home and get him back to full health before looking at our next target.”

The Brisbane summer carnival starts officially on December 2 at Albion Park and three open class features will be staged in consecutive weeks but it highly doubtful Mattgregor will be readied for these events.

The Rob Roy Mattgregor gelding has won 13 from 25 starts while banking more than $107,000.

Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | November 6 | Photo by Dan Costello