Day At The Track

McLovin scratched from Interdominions

11:00 AM 02 Dec 2019 NZDT
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McLovin,Harness racing
McLovin
Stuart McCormick photo

by Jonny Turner   

Star Australian trotter McLovin has been scratched from this year’s Interdominions at Alexandra Park.

Trainer Andy Gath was forced to withdraw the 7yr-old after he was found with swelling in his legs on Monday morning.

Gath said a viral infection caused the inflammation and that the horse’s condition effectively took the decision to scratch out of his hands.

“I couldn’t have been any happier with him until Sunday, when one of his legs blew up.”

“But then this morning [Monday], all of his legs are up, which means he has got a viral infection.”

“Really, he made the decision for me - the condition he is in - he can’t race.”

McLovin had already suffered a setback leading in to the Interdominions, which saw him scratched from its first night of heats.

Gath found the horse had a temperature and he did not eat up like the trainer would expect ahead of last Friday’s opening round.

McLovin had recovered so well from that initial setback, Josh Dickie, who had been looking after the horse while Gath was back at his Victorian stables, had delivered a glowing report to the trainer.

“Josh worked him on Saturday and you’d never see a bloke so surprised about how good a horse is,” Gath said.

“He was talking about how good he worked and how strong he felt.”

“So, he was completely on song and in the zone.”

McLovin went to the spelling paddock on Monday after Gath was forced to scratch him from the Interdominions.

That move rules the horse out of post-series races like the National Trot and Cambridge Flying Mile.

“I have just taken him to an agistment place, he will have two weeks there and then he will fly back home,” Gath said.

Naturally, Gath was disappointed to miss out on a chance to defend his 2018 Interdominion Trotting title he won with Tornado Valley.

“I was gutted yesterday, to tell you the truth,” Gath said on Monday.

“More for the horse – the horse was getting well and then he has gone backwards.”

Gath will not make any further racing plans for McLovin until the horse has fully recovered and is back in Australia. 

Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

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