THE $200,000 Wagga Gold Cup has been robbed of the sole hometown hope in the race after Tim Donnelly scratched Dolphina from the listed feature.
Dolphina won't go around in the Cup, or The Daily Advertiser Benchmark 66 Showcase Handicap (2000m) on Thursday, after being scratched from both.
Donnelly had already decided not to run the mare in the Gold Cup but then an accident on the walker on Wednesday morning cemented the decision.
"No, she's not going to run in either race. She fell over on the walker so she's got a bit of muscle soreness," Donnelly said.
"I probably wouldn't have run in the cup anyway because the track wouldn't have been wet enough, she didn't draw well and the race is strong. Then in the other race, with the 60 (kilograms), she's such a little thing and she drew wide again, I was actually going to keep her for the Parkes Cup but we might not even be racing there.
"We had decided not to run her and then when she had that setback, even 95 per cent wouldn't have been good enough."
Donnelly still has a great deal to look forward to.
Kitzbuhel, with Kayla Nisbet to ride, is right on the border line of getting a start in Thursday's $200,000 Wagga Town Plate (1200m) as third emergency.
There is already two scratchings in the race with the Donnelly-trained import needing one more to get a start first-up in the feature sprint.
"He'll run in the Plate if he gets a run but he's always better second up," he said.
"The 1200 is probably short for him but he's going well. He never trials really well but he actually trialled okay the other day.
"We're looking at going to the Wellington Cup over 1700 second up."
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The horse Donnelly is most keen on over the carnival is Miss Kirribilli in the Gallagher Insurance Brokers Class One Showcase Handicap (1200m).
The three-year-old filly, owned by Richard Pegum, won on debut at Wagga and will look to continue the unbeaten start to her career on Friday.
The concern is barrier 16, but Tommy Berry on is a plus.
"Because she's had just the one start, she's probably got the most upside," Donnelly said.
"She wasn't really wound up the other day. I thought she may have been vulnerable in that race because I had gone pretty easy with her, which probably suits her anyway."
Lunar Shoes, a two-year-old out of Donnelly's former promising filly Quetee Shoes, will make his debut in the Wagga Workwear Maiden Showcase Handicap (1000m).
"He's got ability, he might be better suited at 1200 but he goes alright. He's not hopeless," he said.
"His mother was a pretty good filly. She only had the four starts, she got injured, I thought she was capable of winning in town so hopefully she throws it to her son."
Donnelly was disappointed to draw wide with Blushing Mary resuming in the Toyota Forklifts Class Three Showcase Handicap (1000m).
"Just the barrier is awkward for her because she ran poorly from a wide gate at the 1000 before. Then when she got to the 1200, where they just go that little bit slower, it suited her," he said.
"I would have thought if she had drawn a barrier she would have been pretty hard to beat because she's going well."
Revellers in the Inglis Rural Property Benchmark 58 Handicap (1300m) is another one hurt by a bad barrier.
"He needed to draw a barrier. When he won his two races he had the perfect run," he said.
Donnelly said the barriers have made things hard for him over the next two days.
"The barriers have dented my confidence. You never know what can happen, it doesn't mean they can't win," he said.
"They're all nice horses, it might not be this week, it'll be going forward anyway."
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