STAR two-year-old Bettermatch has run his last race this season after undergoing a windpipe operation on Friday.
The MIA Breeders Plate winner had a cyst removed from this throat after owner Rob Wakeman and trainer Col Thomas knew something wasn’t right with his breathing following his NSW Breeders Challenge heat win at Wagga last month.
“He pulled up making a noise the other day at Wagga,” Wakeman said.
“(Driver) Steve Maguire said he made a noise after the race over the back as he had trouble pulling him up as he wants to keep going.”
Scans revealed a growth the size of a a thumb on his windpipe and he was operated on by Dr Jim Vasey at Shepparton.
The son of Kenneth J will spend the next three months in the paddock recovering from the procedure, ruling out any chance of winning a group one this season with the NSW Breeders Challenge series now off the cards.
Bettermatch spent two days in Shepparton recovery before being allowed to come home, but the prognosis remains positive.
Wakeman said he was looking as bright as a button as he made the trip back to Leeton on Monday.
“Hopefully he comes back better than he was,” Wakeman said.
“He should be alright.
“Jim (Vasey) seems to think everything is fine.”
It ends a stellar season for the juvenile, who has won six of his seven starts and almost $60,000 in prize money.
Among his wins was a blistering 1:55.8 debut at Maryborough before his Breeders Plate win at Leeton, when he defeated Regal Nightshade in the Listed Classic.
He then went to Menangle to take out the group three NSW Sapling Stakes when he sat without cover in clocking a mile rate of 1:53.6, the fastest two-year-old time so far this season.
His only loss was a luckless 10th in the Bathurst Gold Crown final when a dropped knee boot wreaked havoc and prevented trainer Col Thomas claiming his first group one win.
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