Injury wipes out Fasliyev's racing career
THOUGH his racing career is over, the season's top-rated European juvenile Fasliyev happily survived yesterday's crucial operation on the badly-damaged pastern that had threatened even his future as a stallion.
Ballydoyle trainer Aidan O'Brien reported yesterday evening that the undefeated American-bred son of Nureyev which had spearheaded his cavalry charge of crack juveniles was on the road to recovery.
``The horse is over the operation, during which five pins were inserted in his shattered near-fore pastern, and standing up again. Unfortunately the injury was so severe we knew he would not be racing again,'' Aidan explained.
``The vets and American specialist Wayne McIlwraith from Colorado University seem happy with the way things went and expect Fasliyev will be going from Troytown Equine Hospital in Kildare to Coolmore Stud in about a fortnight,'' he added.
Second favourite for next year's English 2000 Guineas, the powerfully-built colt had just been retired for the season and was cantering in a Ballydoyle paddock on Thursday morning when the freak accident occurred.
An understandably chastened O'Brien paid tribute to his exceptional former charge, winner of Group One events within a fortnight in August at Leopardstown (Heinz Phoenix Stakes) and Deauville (Prix Morny).
``He was a brilliant racehorse and it's a great disappointment. We thought we were looking after him by deciding to miss the Dewhurst,'' said Aidan, who now relies on Zentsov Street and Brahms for today's Newmarket highlight.
Never shy about fielding several runners in a Group race, the former champion trainer is responsible for no less than four of the seven surviving for this afternoon's Group Three Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.
The long-absent Lermontov, Barrier Reef and Thursday's Gowran Park scorer Garcia Marquez are joined by newcomer Bells Are Ringing, a Sadler's Wells half-sister to American star Unbridled with regular work partner Seamus Heffernan aboard.
Polish Panache, Sharp Focus and Determination won't be easy however for the Ballydoyle quartet and John Oxx's candidate is marginally preferred after a creditable third to Giant's Causeway and Brahms here in the Futurity Stakes.
Sharp Focus won't mind the forecast of yielding to soft ground at headquarters where his trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Pat Smullen may well enjoy better reward as smart handicapper Social Harmony steps up to Listed class.
At his best with a cut in the ground, Social Harmony is napped for the Waterford Testimonial Stakes in which Oxx's unexposed Namid could emerge as a greater threat than either Oyster Catcher or Rolo Tomasi.
Racing enthusiasts have a choice of home venues tomorrow, with Pierse Contracting commencing their welcome additional input to jumps racing by sponsoring the entire National Hunt programme at Mallow.
Padre Mio's proven fitness could give him the edge in the Munster National Chase, and Quinze looks the class act much closer to the Pierse headquarters as Fairyhouse stage another mixed card with limited spectator facilities.
Local hero Paul Carberry should make up somewhat for lost opportunities through illness and injury by doubling up with well-schooled Galway Hurdle winner Quinze in the Liffey Beginners Chase and Say Wonderful (Barrow Maiden Hurdle).
The Lee Handicap which opens the Jackpot seems a wide-open affair with the majority of the 14 runners likely to attract some support. Perhaps the occasion has arisen for hitherto luckless Golden Fact to belatedly open his seasonal account.