Disastrous week for Cavanough

Niblick has been put down after contracting pneumonia. Picture: KYLIE ESLER
Niblick has been put down after contracting pneumonia. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

ALBURY Gold Cup winner Niblick has been put down after contracting pneumonia.

The Brett Cavanough-trained gelding contracted pneumonia after his final run at Flemington last month and never recovered.

In a disastrous week for the stable, Boys On Tour has also been retired after snapping a fetlock in track work.

Smart sprinter Scatcat is also sidelined indefinitely after snapping a sesamoid at her most recent run at Rosehill on May 30.

The filly has had two screws inserted in her fetlock and is recovering in Sydney.

“That’s racing,” Cavanough said.

“As every trainer knows there is plenty of highs and lows in this caper.

“It’s just sport and happens every day of the week in every sport.

“You have to be resilient in this caper if you want to stay on top.

“If you want to mourn — well you just can’t afford to do it.

“I don’t have soft spots for horses, they’re not poodles to me and I don’t fall in love with them.

“We just treat them as horses and look after them well.”

Niblick won eight of 31 career starts with just over $450,000 in career earnings.

The former Lloyd Williams-owned galloper won his first two starts for Cavanough.

He won the $101,000 Listed National Sprint (1400 metres) in Canberra first-up from a spell before handing Cavanough his first $175,000 Albury Gold Cup at his next start.

Niblick had another 10 starts for the stable but was never able to recapture his winning form with a second at Caulfield in April his highest-placed finish.

Cavanough rated Niblick as one of the most talented gallopers he has trained.

“When we bought him from Lloyd Williams he was one of the most promising horses we have ever had in the stable,” he said.

“He probably never got to the level we thought he might.

“His first preparation was super and then in his second preparation he kept having problems.

“In hindsight he may have had an underlying problem all the way through after winning the Albury cup and we couldn’t detect it.

“But I will always have fond memories of the horse after he delivered me my first Albury Gold Cup triumph.”