22 October 2007
Some of the clouds which surround the terrible injury to our fine filly Southwarknewsflash are beginning to clear.
It has been a truly horrible couple of weeks, not only for me but for the filly's handlers and for the members of our racing club.
I finally got to get a good close look at her on Monday and to examine her myself. What there is to see is clear damage to her right fore suspensory tendon. This is like the Achilles tendon we have in our heels and it controls the movement of the hoof.
The undamaged tendon in her left front leg is as thick as a person's finger, the thickness of her damaged tendon is the size of an uncooked sausage. It is badly swollen and I am told the vet's scans show that it is split. I have asked to see the scans and if they can be reproduced I will see if we can print a picture of them in the paper. Feelings are still running high on the subject so I have to tread carefully.
I must stress that there is no ill feeling on my part towards anyone for the injury but I think the connections are scared that I shall start to apportion blame, but as they realize that is not the case I shall be able to put more pieces of the jigsaw together. Now that I have got my computer back I have watched Flash's last race at Wolverhampton many times. I have seen nothing which would indicate her tendon going in running.
If we had run her on hard ground and she had jarred herself I could see how it could have happened, but on the polytrack such an injury is virtually unheard of.
In her short racing career the only incident which could have jarred her sufficiently to damage and split her tendon was the very first of her four races when she was left in the stalls at Yarmouth and leapt out like a scalded cat before setting off in pursuit of the field. That is my theory.
Putting that aside, what do we do now? Well, I am in a minority of one in my belief that we could see her back on the track again after a long period of rest. Ranged against me are the vets, the trainer, the handlers and all the other hoss owners I have spoken to.
Mrs Dunnett who owns two thirds of her against our one third favours selling her next February in the brood mares sale. If I can get the money together by then I hope to try to buy out Mrs Dunnetts' share so that we can keep her.
That is far from certain because I have decided in fairness to the club members who have bought shares in Flash that I will buy a further third of our colt Southwark Newsboy and transfer Flash shares into him. That way we can all go racing together and nobody gets left out.
It is a far from perfect solution and will cost me several thousand pounds out, but it is better than doing nothing and putting it all down to bad luck. For those who are unclear about the third shares business in both Flash and Newsboy, I own one third of each of them, the trainer has retained two thirds. It is my third which is shared by the racing club. In the case of Newsboy I shall own two thirds and the club's share in him will be doubled. My share in Flash remains in place until she is sold.
Over the last few days I have also faced up to the probability that Flash may never run again and the consequent need for another young hoss to take her place in the racing club colours. I have been offered an unnamed two year old with very similar breeding to Newsboy and we worked him on the gallops earlier this week with the sprinter Kennington.
He is not very big and is a very pretty hoss with a really nice head and a big white blaze down his face. He is quick alright but he is as mad as a bag of cats.
He has speed to burn but zig zags down the track and fights for his head every inch of the way. I have got first refusal on him and I am going to register the name Southwarknewsflyer for him but he has got to be castrated to calm him down and put up for the winter to get over gelding and to let him grow.
I will keep you posted.
As you know already my tip for the weekend is Leg Spinner in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket.
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