The persistent hoof problems plaguing Supergiant have forced trainer Michael Costa to abandon an interstate trip.
Costa decided to spell Supergiant after the four-year-old’s failure at Toowoomba on Weetwood Handicap day.
“Unfortunately, Supergiant did let down and he pulled up sore,” Costa said.
“He was probably three out of five lame with a bit of a hoof issue.”
Supergiant developed a corn in a hoof after he was beaten first up from a spell at Eagle Farm in August.
Costa was confident the four-year-old had recovered from that problem but his Toowoomba defeat prompted a rethink.
Supergiant emerged as a spring carnival candidate after a successful winter campaign when he won the Group Three Gunsynd Classic (1800m) at Eagle Farm.
He followed his Gunsynd victory with a gallant second to Ballistic Boy in the Group Three Rough Habit Plate (2200m) at Eagle Farm in June.
“Supergiant just didn’t come to hand this time in,” Costa said.
“It’s not due to his ability. It’s just he had a few things holding him back with his feet and I’m sure we’ll get that resolved into his next preparation.”
Hard Empire has joined the Toby and Trent Edmonds stable with the summer carnival on his agenda.
The gelding won last year’s Irwin Stakes at Morphettville when trained by Richard and Chantelle Jolly.
Hard Empire won his first three starts in Tasmania for Adam Trinder before entering Darren Weir’s stables and tasting success at Ballarat and Bendigo.
After leaving Weir, Hard Empire won four times in Adelaide for the Jolly stable before making his way to the Gold Coast.
The seven-year-old was a stylish winner of a 1000m barrier trial at the Coast last week when ridden by Jeff Lloyd, who has retired from competitive riding but still performs trackwork duties for the Edmonds stable.