Race fans Brace for the worst

By TONY MCMAHON ? THE racing future of Central Queensland's most gifted and gamest horse, Western Brace, is on hold after he developed lameness over the weekend.

In an uncustomary display, Western Brace, owned by Rockhampton's Kath and Graham Mylne, weakened badly to finish 14th of 16 in the Sir Byrne Hart Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm, Brisbane, last Saturday.

Fourth into the straight, Western Brace showed none of his bulldog fighting qualities to drop out and finish 9.5 lengths behind the winner Wager.

"He has never run a race like that in his life. I knew there had to be something wrong,'' Kath Mylne said yesterday.

She said Hendra trainer Bill Baker expressed alarm when he noticed Western Brace's off foreleg was swollen after the race.

"His off foreleg has filling (swelling) between the knee and the fetlock. He must have torn something. It doesn't look too good though,'' a worried Mylne said.

Yesterday, Western Brace was undergoing rigorous veterinary examinations at Baker's stables.

"We'll just wait and see what the vet finds. I plan to bring him back to Rockhampton on Friday,'' Mylne said.

An orphan foal, Western Brace has raced on 60 occasions for 17 wins and 16 placings for a staggering $344,470 in prizemoney.

A defiant front-runner in most of his wins, Western Brace scored from 1100 metres to 1500m while winning five races at Eagle Farm in Brisbane.

In Rockhampton where, when at his peak he was almost invincible, Western Brace's best win was in the 2003 Newmarket Handicap (1300m).

Mylne had planned to take over Western Brace's preparation this week to "play around'' with him during the Rockhampton Winter Racing Carnival.

Meanwhile, the Rockhampton TAB race meeting scheduled for Callaghan Park on Thursday has attracted 146 entries.

Yeppoon apprentice Donna Carrigg will miss riding at Rockhampton on Thursday and Saturday after being outed for a week on a careless riding charge at Emerald races last Saturday.

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