Currie ruled out of Blue Diamond ride on favourite
LUKE Currie will miss his ride on Blue Diamond Stakes favourite Hanseatic after a heavy fall in the last race at the Valley on Friday night.
Currie has a suspected fracture to his C7 vertebrae in his spine and two fractured ribs.
Currie was dislodged from Yulong June when he was tightened for room soon after the finishing post and crashed to the ground.
Sydney jockey Tim Clark will replace Currie on Hanseatic.
It is terrible luck for Currie, who was aiming for back-to-back Blue Diamonds after winning on Lyre last year.
The 38-year-old has had an amazing run with juveniles.
In the past two years riding two-year-olds, Currie has won two Magic Millions Classics (Sunlight in 2018 and Away Game this year) and last year's Blue Diamond Stakes on Lyre for Hanseatic's trainer, Anthony Freedman.
Earlier, Currie said he would have preferred Hanseatic had drawn wider than barrier one but believed he had the turn of foot to win.
"He'll need luck but if you're drawn out you need luck to get in, too," Currie said.
"As long as he gets some clear air around the 600m he'll be hard to beat. He's got a fair turn of foot."
Although Hanseatic won the Blue Diamond Prelude from barrier two, Currie said this scenario was different.
"He was getting dragged back last time and I had to go to option B and try and get clear air," Currie said. "He might be dragged back from the rail this time.
"In his first two starts he was on the outside of horses. He's now had the benefit of having had the experience of racing on the inside of horses."
Currie said Sunlight was still the benchmark two-year-old he had ridden in the past two years but he felt Hanseatic was the next best horse he had been aboard and had the potential to get to her level.
He said Hanseatic still had a bit to learn about racing.
"He can still get a bit hot, he's still working things out and he'll need to get that right to win a Blue Diamond," he said. "If he can come back and relax a little that would make a big difference."
Currie said he had ridden at the Cranbourne trials on the Monday after the Flemington spring carnival ended and was lucky enough to get on Hanseatic that morning.
Currie returned from Asia in 2013 then had a fall in 2014 and was close to giving riding away.
"At the time Ciaron Maher was starting out and he gave me lots of winners," he said.
"Tony McEvoy and Wayne Mitchell put their faith in me and Hey Doc and then Sunlight came along and I haven't looked back. Then I also started riding for the Freedmans.
"People would see Tony and Anthony putting me on in major races and that's had a snowball effect. They see if they're doing that then I must be doing something right and I've got greater opportunities because of this."
STAKES HIGH FOR BUSUTTIN
Trent Busuttin believes a win by either of his stable's runners in the $1.5 million Blue Diamond Stakes - Letzbeglam or Tagaloa - would be career defining for him and co-trainer Natalie Young.
"We've never had a runner in a Blue Diamond Stakes and now we've got two," Busuttin said.
"We decided if we were going to make it in Australia we need to buy two-year-olds, which we've done in the last year."
Busuttin said they knew they could train two-year-olds but had been typecast as trainers of stayers, which is what they were training when they arrived from New Zealand three years ago.
"We were pigeonholed as staying trainers, which is fine as we enjoy training stayers, but that's all we really had in our stable," he said.
Busuttin said if Tagaloa won the Blue Diamond Stakes with his pedigree it was effectively a $10 million payday.
Busuttin queried why favourite Hanseatic ($2.50) was so short in the betting.
"He's at a similar price to Sepoy when he won and nothing could get near him. Hanseatic won by a neck last start," he said.
Busuttin said Letzbeglam had taken him by surprise with the style of her wins.
"She can run at a fast tempo and run fast sectionals from start to finish," he said. "She ran a quicker time than Hanseatic last start."
Letzbeglam has drawn barrier three and Tagaloa four.