The Rob Heathcote team is “over the moon” with how Rothfire’s surgery went, with the surgeon reporting there is a better than 50/50 chance the Queensland star will one day return to his athletic best.
Heathcote told Racenet his Group 1 winner had so far recovered well from leg surgery and that equine vet specialists in Sydney put the injury which ruled the gelding out of The Everest down to bad luck and found no underlying problems.
“What a relief – I have been hanging around the phone for the last two hours waiting for the post-surgery news,” Heathcote said mid-afternoon on Monday.
“The surgeon, Randwick Equine specialist Hayley Lang, was really pleased with how the procedure went.
“It was an acute injury, meaning there were no chronic underlying problems.
“The injury was just extremely bad luck, he placed his hoof down awkwardly at speed causing enormous pressure to cause the fracture.
“The fact this was diagnosed quickly and the surgery done so soon after the incident is a big plus.”
So what of the prognosis for the three-year-old gelding who seemed to have the Australian racing world at his feet until injuring himself when the $1.55 favourite in Saturday’s Group 1 Golden Rose at Rosehill?
Rothfire winning the Run To The Rose at Rosehill. Photo: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
As Heathcote initially suspected, Rothfire is likely to need at least a year off racing.
And there is always likely to be a weakness in the injured area for the rest of the galloper’s life – something that will be factored in his future training.
But all is certainly not lost with a view to him returning to his explosive best.
“His suspensory ligament has normal fibre pattern although he will have lost about perhaps 15 to 20 percent of the body of the medial ligament which was attached to the damaged sesamoid bone,” Heathcote said.
“But the prognosis is, in the surgeon‘s view, better than 50/50 to return to full athletic function which for the seriousness of the injury is good.
“Melanie Sharpe (Heathcote’s travelling racing manager) is over the moon with the surgery news.
“We have a long way to go but it‘s a good start on the road to recovery.
“I am suggesting we give him about a year before we look at a return to racing to give him every chance to get back.”
Rothfire will be cared for at specialist equine care facility Emeran Park, on the NSW Central Coast for the first six months of his rehabilitation.
Originally published asRothfire trainer delighted after surgery
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