Cape out for two months

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 March, 2006, 12:00am

Trainer David Oughton has ruled out Dubai or any other race in the immediate future for Global Sprint Challenge champion Cape Of Good Hope after scans have revealed his knee injury to be more significant than previously thought.

Cape Of Good Hope suffered buffeting when a brave third in the opening leg of the Global Sprint Challenge (GSC), the Lightning Stakes at Flemington last month, injuring his left knee.

He had to be withdrawn from the second series race, the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley, when the inflammation did not settle down.

Oughton returned Cape Of Good Hope to Hong Kong with the prescription of a brief rest expected to see him back to full fitness within a fortnight.

The trainer had been considering either Dubai's rich March 25 dirt sprint, the Golden Shaheen, or the Chairman's Sprint Prize at Sha Tin the same weekend as Cape Of Good Hope's next target, and had virtually made up his mind to stay in Hong Kong after Silent Witness' poor effort on Sunday when he finished seventh.

'But those races are both off the schedule now,' Oughton said yesterday.

'I've had the knee scanned again. It's showing a carpal sheath injury which is not fully healed and there is also some minor damage to the check ligament.

'He's going to need another two months' rest and treatment to get over it.'

The eight-year-old's preparation in defence of the GSC title is, however, expected to continue when he resumes in the HSBC Premier Sha Tin Vase, 1,200m, on May 21.

'He'll run at Sha Tin and assuming all is well then he'll head on to Royal Ascot a month later, as he has the past two years, for the King's Stand Stakes and Golden Jubilee Stakes,' Oughton said.