Jack Milner: Summer Pudding is due to return to Joburg on Tuesday afternoon and will not be running in the Met at Kenilworth on Saturday 30 January.
That was the word yesterday from trainer Paul Peter.
The decision was made after her disappointing unplaced run in last Saturday’s Cartier Paddock Stakes over 1800m at Kenilworth. Unbeaten in nine starts, the streak finally came to an end when she finished seventh, 4.95 lengths behind Mike de Kock-trained Queen Supreme.
“She pulled up coughing badly and that is something she has not done before, so I insisted the vet scope her,” said Peter.
“She was found to be very congested. There was nasal discharge and they found lots of mucus in her air passages.”
However, it was not the disappointing run in itself that forced the decision to return the four-year-old daughter of Silvano to the Highveld. “She needs to be on a course of antibiotics and that would mean she would have to be out of training during the build-up to the Met.
“With the disruption to her training, we could not have her at her peak for the race, so it was pointless to leave her there.”
It is worth noting that while Summer Pudding looked well beaten early in the straight, she still tried to kick on in the closing stages to end up less than five lengths behind the winner.
“But that’s her,” added Peter. “She’s all heart.”
He added there were absolutely no signs of a problem prior to the race. “Her blood was fine, we found nothing. Maybe it just showed itself when she came under pressure.”
Summer Pudding was scheduled to arrive at Peter’s Turffontein yard yesterday afternoon.
The plan now is to get her back to best and prepare her for the Highveld autumn season. “I will give her one warm-up run and then we can go for the Premier’s Champions Challenge,” said Peter.
The Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge is run over 2000m at weight-for-age and is scheduled to be run on Saturday 1 May at Turffontein.
“To all her fans, all I can say is don’t worry, she’ll be back,” said Peter.