How walking racing’s tightrope is never easy

Australian Cup winner Fifty Stars racing career is almost certainly over after the import was found to have a knee injury.

Trainer David Hayes described the unusual ligament injury in Fifty Stars’ nearside foreleg as “season-ending but not career-ending”, but conceded there was a good chance the Irish-bred galloper was likely to be snapped up by studs.

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“We need to investigate the injury more but, as it stands now, it’s not career-ending,” Hayes said.

“It’s season-ending, but the horse could be back in work by June.

“I’d love to give him another spring, but I’m sure if there’s an opportunity to get him to stud, that’s a strong possibility.”

Owned by Gerry and Val Ryan, Fifty Stars is certain to appeal to Australian studs as a Group 1-winning son of super-sire Sea The Sires and a Sadler’s Wells mare.

Fifty Stars takes out the Australian Cup, his first and only Group 1 triumph.Source:Getty Images

The Ryans are loathe to risk the highly-talented five-year-old.

Hayes said Fifty Stars was “lame at the trot, sound at the walk but otherwise not in pain.”

“We’ll continue to assess him and see what eventuates,” he said.

“I’d love to have a crack at the spring with him but he could have a full book of mares in the spring.”

Trainer David Hayes is experiencing mixed feeling over two of his gallopers.Source:Getty Images

On track for Saturday’s Doncaster, Fifty Stars pulled up uneven in his action following a trial in Sydney on Friday.

Fifty Stars has won 10 of 23 starts, including five black type contests including the Group 1 Australian Cup.

He also boasts three Group 2 and one Group 3 triumphs.





Former Irish stayer Rostropovich is on course for a return to spring racing after taking another crucial step in his recovery from Melbourne Cup injury.

Rostropovich suffered a stress fracture in his pelvis in last November’s Melbourne Cup, prompting fears the young stayer might become another casualty of the nation’s most famous race.

But after months of rehabilitation following treatment at Melbourne University’s Werribee equine clinic, the import is progressing steadily towards a racetrack return.

Dwayn Dunn enters the field on Rostropovich before last year’s Melbourne Cup.Source:AAP

Paddocked at Lindsay Park, Euroa, the five-year-old will be set for a spring campaign.

“He’s as happy as Larry, the vets have done a terrific job and he’s loving life up here,” trainer David Hayes said.

“He’s been progressing very well.

“When he comes in, he’ll be given a slow, gradual build-up.

“He’ll start in May and have a slow build up.

“We’re not sure at this stage if he’ll be a Cups horse or if he’ll race after the Cups.”

Originally published asHow walking racing’s tightrope is never easy

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