COROWA trainer Geoff Duryea says Front Page is no certainty to race in Saturday's rich Kosciusko at Randwick after he drew the widest gate for the $1.3 million race at Wednesday's barrier draw.
Duryea said he was "devastated" when barrier 14 was confirmed for the gelding. Given he likes to lead or be near the speed in races, it's a major blow for connections.
If Front Page was to be withdrawn it would continue the five-year-old's history of bad luck in the world's richest race for country-trained horses.
He was scratched when one of the favourites for last year's edition after injuring himself in his stall travelling to Sydney.
Front Page was on the third line of betting at $7 before the barrier draw, and was taken by William Farrer Hotel for one of their two slots for the race.
The pub's Super Punters' Club (SPC) also selected Front Page last year, only to watch it fail to run.
"I'm devastated by the barrier draw," Duryea told The Daily Advertiser on Wednesday afternoon.
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"I haven't spoken to all the owners yet, so everything is up in the air whether he goes or not. He's not going up there to get his bum kicked."
Front Page is coming off a strong second at Moonee Valley on September 24, leading for most of the race before the highly-rated Lombardo proved too strong.
"That's the way he likes to race, but if he's going to be four or five wide for the journey then what's the point of leaving?," Duryea said.
"It's put us on the back foot.
"I haven't had a chance to see what's on in Victoria, but if there's a race there that suits him he might go there."
The barrier draw was kinder for the SPC's second runner, Scone horse Nadaraja, who will come out of barrier two.
Nadaraja has led in all three of his successive victories on his home track, and has every chance to try and dictate terms from the front.
Mr Hussill, racing for Ganmain slot holder Jed Lawton, also drew nicely in barrier six, while Albury trainer Mitchell Beer's Sunrise Ruby drew barrier four.
Wagga trainer Gary Colvin's Another One is second emergency for the race.
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