Jim Byrne is still coming to terms with Rothfire’s injury as he ponders how to tackle his compulsory two weeks quarantine on returning to Queensland.
Byrne had committed himself to staying in Sydney until after next month’s Everest and was as disappointed as anyone yesterday that the horse will not be able to showcase his true talent for an extended time, if at all.
Byrne said he was “gutted” on learning Rothfire’s injuries, having had such a close association with him from the very start.
Jim Byrne faces a despondent return to Queensland. Picture: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
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“He’s a horse I’ve had a lot to do with all the way through. This isn’t the path I was expecting us to go down,” he said.
“Even if we got beat (Saturday), the Everest was still going to be there. I was only ever down here for these two races and the Everest.
“I will just stew on it for a day. I’m too gutted to think about (the return trip) at the moment.”
Byrne knew something was not right with Rothfire the moment he asked for the supreme effort and the response wasn’t there.
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“Coming to the 400m I was pretty good, thinking I’m just going to win, then the moment I give him some rein, around the 300m I asked him to start to stretch out I could feel he just didn’t feel right,” he said.
“Then he veered out pretty bad at the furlong and I thought ‘something’s not right here.’
“As soon as I pulled him up I just walked him and I could feel he was lame. I got off him straight away.”
Byrne may have a ride or two at Saturday’s Epsom Handicap meeting, otherwise he will commence the necessary two weeks to get home and he has sought advice from health authorities on what options are available.
Originally published as‘Gutted’ Byrne reveals the moment Rothfire went lame
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