Racing: Rollout The Carpet sidelined

Rollout The Carpet after her win in the One Thousand Guineas. Photo by Jane Davidson.
Rollout The Carpet after her win in the One Thousand Guineas. Photo by Jane Davidson.
Rollout The Carpet has had a knee operation.

The 3yr-old Holy Roman Emperor filly underwent surgery yesterday to remove a chip in her near front knee. The injury is thought to have been caused, or at least worsened, by her early stumble in the New Zealand One Thousand Guineas at Riccarton on November 17.

She recovered to lead for much of the group one classic and showed enormous courage to hold off Waterford, who looked to have her measure at the 200m.

"It just goes to show how tough she is to still win after what happened at the start at Riccarton," Emma-Lee Browne, who trains the filly at Cambridge with her father, Jeff McVean, said.

The long-term prognosis for Rollout The Carpet, winner of three of nine starts and $321,725 in stakes, is good.

"It could have been a lot worse, like if it [the injury] had happened before the Guineas and she had missed that. But it will set her summer plans back," Browne said.

Foremost in those plans was the Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham in late January as her trainers looked for a sprint target, rather than trying to train Oaks-level stamina into Rollout The Carpet.

"She will be able to go on the water walker around Christmas but the Telegraph comes off the list of targets.

"We were thinking about that because we are not sure she is an Oaks filly but we still have plenty of options if we choose no to go down that path."

The injury to Rollout The Carpet has thrown open the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year title.

After three races she leads the series by 15 points from Waterford on 8.5.

The next leg is the Eulogy Stakes at Awapuni on December 15.

• Conferre will attempt to maintain a winning streak when she contests the Ascend Handicap at Sandown today, AAP reports.

Conferre beat Rock Robster narrowly at Moonee Valley two weeks ago - her third win in a row - and is poised to repeat the performance when they clash over 2400m.

Trainer Robert Smerdon said Conferre should have the edge from barrier one.

"She's been in good form," Smerdon said.

"Obviously she's won her last three, so since she's got up to a distance she's become very effective.

The mare required little work between races, Smerdon said.

- Michael Guerin


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