A horror barrier draw has ruled Adelaide visitor So Skilled out of Friday’s $70,000 Snake Gully Cup (1400m) at Gundagai.
Morphettville trainer Dan Shepherd was keen to make the 2000 kilometre round trip for the feature race until a bad barrier wiped plans on Wednesday.
So Skilled, a metropolitan winner in Adelaide, drew barrier 15 and was most likely to start from the outside gate at Gundagai.
Shepherd will now stay at home and race So Skilled at Morphettville on Saturday instead.
“We’re pretty doubtful now,” Shepherd said.
“It’s the barrier draw mainly. If we drew five or six, definitely, we really wanted to come but he’ll run in Adelaide now.
“He’s a very nice horse but a lot of things haven’t gone his way lately.”
Another of the major players is also set to be withdrawn from the Snake Gully Cup.
The Kurt Goldman-trained Ruthless Agent is set to be scratched and will run at Rosehill on Saturday instead.
Ruthless Agent was an impressive winner of the $30,000 Anniversary Cup at Goulburn last Sunday week but Goldman will have a crack at metropolitan grade instead.
“With the rain predicted (on Thursday) and the bad gate, he’s probably not going there,” Goldman said.
Goldman plans to scratch all three of his horses that were down to run at Gundagai.
The two Cup scratchings will let American Time and Coolotta into the field.
Canberra trainer Gratz Vella is yet to book a jockey for American Time, while Coolotta will give Kembla Grange trainer Paul Murray two runners in the race.
He also has Chief In Command, to be ridden by Jeff Penza.
No Gundagai-trained horses were able to get a start in the race with the Southern District to be represented by the Kym Davison-trained Vinnie Vega and Trevor Sutherland’s Gentleman Max.
Seven of the 12 horses likely to start in the race are trained at Canberra.
The Cup will be run at 5.15pm on Friday with a crowd of up to 4000 expected to attend.