THE stable’s international star, Vercingetorix, will not race again. The five-year-old was injured during the running of the Jebel Hatta over 1800m on the turf track at Meydan on Saturday night at the end of the penultimate meeting of the 2015 Dubai Carnival. He was later found to have pulled a sesamoidal ligament.
Vercingetorix, who was attempting a follow-up win in the Gr1 event, was racing into the home bend and approaching the straight when jockey Christophe Soumillon felt that something had gone wrong.
Better days: Vercingetorix winning the 2014 Gr1 Jebel Hatta. (Andrew Watkins).
Mike de Kock commented: “Christophe couldn’t persevere with Vercingetorix but he said the horse wanted to carry on, he was trying to run to the end which shows just how courageous he is, he had more rivals behind him than ahead of him at the post despite his discomfort.
“It’s a big setback, Vercingetorix would have been a serious runner for us on World Cup night, we had him on top of his game or this race, he was extremely well. But we have to face reality. This is what I hate about racing. One gets up only to go down. I guess it happens in most other sports. Thankfully our horse is okay, the injury is not life-threatening.”
Vercingetorix was taken to a veterinary clinic and on examination found to have injured a ligament. Mike said: “He will be spending the night there and he is comfortable and not in pain.”
While his racing career has come to an abrupt end hopes are that Vercingetorix, as an entire, will be able to build his legacy at stud. Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, he’s by top stallion Silvano from a mare by National Assembly and Mike commented: “He has a good pedigree and I think he will be a suitable stallion for South Africa, but his future at stud will be discussed with Sheikh Mohammed.”
Vercingetorix won seven of ten starts, including two Gr1’s and two Gr2 races. He was Gr1-placed twice.
*The sesamoids, as they’re called, anchor the suspensory apparatus that allows a horse’s foot and fetlock to move properly.