Almo Street gets a pass from the stewards but not from Lisa - his action today wasn’t right
Enigmatic galloper Almo Street passed his barrier test at Foxton today but he won’t be racing at Trentham on Saturday.
Stewards ordered the horse to trial after he stood in the gates at Otaki eight days ago, losing a conservative 10 lengths before flying home late for sixth, only 5.7 lengths from winner Not Santa.
The run was so enormous, his last 600 metres easily the quickest in 35.32, it had commentator Tony Lee declaring: “Is that Almo Street in front of most of them? Jeepers, what a run.”
The error was just another in a long line of barrier blues by Almo Street which has seen him twice banned from racing and at one time away from racing for 10 months.
Regular rider Charlotte O’Beirne, who has nursed Almo Street through his issues, was back aboard today, replacing his Otaki rider Jonathan Riddell, and he behaved himself well, loading without any problem and missing the jump only fractionally.
Settling last in the five horse field in a 1200 metre catchweight, Almo Street improved right in behind the leaders turning for home and looked to be full of running, blocked all the way down the straight.
He finished about three lengths behind Dark Princess, Italian Lover and Lord Bouzeron, the winner clocking 1:13.38.
But trainer Lisa Latta was far from happy with the horse.
“His action was terrible today. He was average in his preliminary and short in the running so he’s obviously feeling the ground. Something’s not quite right and with horses like that it can affect whether they jump or not.”
Latta says it would be silly to back up Almo Street on Saturday and risk getting him banned again when he would be vulnerable, standing in the gates in front of a big crowd.
“I’ll get the vet in to go over him, to make sure we’re not missing anything, put some concussion plates on him and get him back in the pool.
“It was a really good run at Otaki but they’d had rain and it was a genuine dead track, which is what he needs.”
Latta says she will look for a suitable race for Almo Street in a couple of weeks.