Queensland Horse of the Year Alligator Blood will not compete during the summer carnival, with tests at the Gatton campus of the University of Queensland this week revealing he requires back surgery.
Trainer David Vandyke reported to both QRIC and Racing NSW stewards on Friday that the gelding has been diagnosed with degenerative changes to a number of his dorsal spinous processes, or kissing spines.
Vandyke told stewards the surgery means the Group 1 Australian Guineas winner will spell for at least four months, with “the prognosis good for future racing”.
Alligator Blood raced three times during the spring, beaten as favourite first up at Doomben and again in the Silver Eagle at Randwick, before failing to let down in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle on October 31.
Vandyke said he was unsure whether the back issue caused him to race below his best this time in, but is pleased the diagnosis is good for a full recovery.
“Although we didn’t see any clinical signs of this issue during his preparation, it may have affected his performance,” he said.
“That’s not certain, but he didn’t blow us out of the water with his performances this preparation. I’m just glad the university has identified this and the prognosis is good for his future.”
Vandyke had been considering a tilt on The Gateway at Eagle Farm next month and January’s Magic Millions Cup before the UQ report.
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Sky Racing News Update; 12th November 2020.
Originally published as Back complaint: Alligator Blood requires surgery