Beadman's return still uncertain
Darren Beadman will not ride at the Hong Kong Gold Cup meeting on Sunday and the date of his return is uncertain after the leading jockey checked himself back into hospital.
Beadman was knocked unconscious for some time and fractured a cheekbone last Friday when his barrier trial mount snapped a joint and hurled him to the ground. Beadman was automatically stood down for five days and hoped to be back for Sunday but he said yesterday he had continued to feel problems with his balance.
'I checked myself back in on Sunday when I kept feeling dizzy and I've had an MRI today and I'm waiting for the doctor to go over the results with me,' Beadman said. 'I was unconscious for maybe an hour after the fall and the doctor told me it isn't unusual for your balance to be a bit off for a while after being out for that long. Anyway, I don't want to be rushing back if I'm not ready so I'll wait for their green light.'
John Moore imported Damien Oliver for Beadman's stable duties last Sunday and Oliver, who was already booked for Irian in the Gold Cup, will fulfil the same role this weekend.
In other news, trainer David Ferraris was still shaking his head over Sweet Orange's luckless defeat in the Classic Cup, but had to be content with the knowledge he has the nominal Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby favourite in his barn.
Sweet Orange was strung up at the top of the straight and unable to set out after the leaders until winner Zaidan had kicked clear.
'It's hard to swallow getting beaten like that. I always knew this horse was very good but that double-confirmed everything,' Ferraris said yesterday, but said Weichong Marwing will stay aboard for the Derby on March 18.
'He had to go back and it was the right thing - my other horse Liberator was wide from gate four so, from gate 13, Sweet Orange would have been very wide if Weichong had done anything else. But he had an impossible task to win by the time he got clear.'
Ferraris also took encouragement from the fifth placing of Liberator, whose rating was lifted from 82 to 87 but that only puts him into the top 16 Derby entries.
'I hoped he would get seven points. Five leaves him borderline but he is already very fit and I don't want to run him again,' Ferraris said. 'He's a real stayer and if he scrapes into the Derby, he could go forward and just keep running at 2,000m.'