OUT: Trainer John Shelton with Kosciuszko winner, Belflyer, which is recovering from tendon surgery.
OUT: Trainer John Shelton with Kosciuszko winner, Belflyer, which is recovering from tendon surgery. Adam Hourigan

Champion galloper ruled out of 2019 July Carnival

RACING: Grafton trainer John Shelton has confirmed Belflyer will not race during this year's July Carnival, with the Kosciuszko champion gelding ruled out as it recovers from surgery on a tendon sheath injury.

The seven-year-old featured in the 2018 GDSC Ramornie Handicap, finishing second behind Toby Edmonds-trained Haveasay.

The Northern Rivers Racing Association Horse of the Year then went on to scale the heights of NSW Country racing when it powered home for a fairytale victory in the inaugural $1.3 million Kosciuszko (1200m) on a wet Royal Randwick track.

Since its victory in October last year, Belflyer took out an Open Handicap on the Sunshine Coast in November, before a 22 week spell.

Belflyer's last start was a seventh at Eagle Farm in April, however a niggling tendon sheath injury required addressing and would see Belflyer away from racing for the next few months.

Shelton said while it was disappointing Belflyer would not be taking part in this year's July Carnival, the injury was holding the champion galloper back

"He had a little bit of minor surgery on a tendon issue last month so he will now spend a few months in the paddock, so unfortunately he will miss the July Carnival," he said.

"It's something that had been niggling him for a while so we made the decision to do keyhole surgery, and he is doing a lot better now so hopefully he will come back bigger and stronger than ever."

Shelton indicated he would be preparing Belflyer for a tilt at another Kosciuszko title later this year.

While Belflyer will be enjoying time in the paddock come July, the veteran trainer hinted at preparing a number of runners for the biggest week of racing on the Grafton calendar.



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