UNBEATEN Wagga three-year-old Participator has gone to the spelling paddock, as planned, after a frustrating trip to Sydney on Saturday.
Participator was a late scratching from the $100,000 TAB Highway Class Two Handicap (1200m) at Rosehill due to an elevated temperature.
The Tim Donnelly-trained galloper was set to start a well-supported favourite before he was scratched about 30 minutes prior to the event.
Donnelly explained that it was only his routine temperature that detected anything.
"An hour before the race the vet said no he's right to run," Donnelly said.
"The horse was as bright as anything, if I hadn't of taken his temperature, I wouldn't of known. I still wasn't convinced, so I took his temperature again and it was still up in the higher range to what it normally would be, borderline over safety. I waited until we had to saddle him up and I got (the vet) to come again and I said I'm not comfortable running this horse and they said good as gold.
"His temperature was slightly higher than normal (Saturday) morning but he was bright, he had eaten everything, he'd had a walk and then ate well again. It was only that his temperature was higher than what it normally would be. That's a bit of an alarm bell. But when we got (to Rosehill) it had gone up again but within an hour it had come back down to nearly normal range but if I hadn't of taken his temperature I wouldn't have known."
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Donnelly confirmed Participator was back to his normal self on Sunday.
"He's as good as gold," Donnelly said.
"He ate all his feed (Saturday) night. He's as bright as anything. No problems at all."
The plan was always to spell Participator after the Highway with the Country Championships in mind.
Donnelly has stuck to the plan with Participator enjoying the start of a two-week break in the paddock.
Donnelly, at this stage, intends to trial Participator at Wagga on January 26 and then run him first-up on February 5, where there is a Class Three Highway (1200m) at Randwick.
He will then go second-up to the $150,000 SDRA Country Championships Qualifier (1400m) at Wagga on February 19.
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