Jack Milner: The Michael Azzie-trained Abashiri had to be pulled out of Saturday’s Vodacom Durban July with about 200m to run when he injured a leg but fortunately he did not have to be put down.
The thousands of spectators at Greyville gasped in shock as the commentator shouted out: “Abashiri has gone wrong and is being pulled out of the race.”
Abashiri, winner of the 2016 SA Triple Crown, was ridden by Piere Strydom and was quoted at around 12-1.
He broke well but then landed up at the back of the field. He came into the straight last with Strydom hard at work to get him back into the race.
However, at the 200m mark he suddenly stumbled and Strydom quickly pulled up his mount and jumped off. “He couldn’t keep up with the pace even in a slow-run race but I suddenly felt something go wrong and pulled him up immediately,” said Strydom.
“Unfortunately it’s a hard part of racing.”
The vet was immediately in attendance and many people thought Abashiri would have to be put down which would have been a severe dampener on the day. However, the vet bandaged the leg and the horse was taken in the ambulance back to stable area of the course where he was checked out again.
It was then decided to send him to hospital. Azzie said yesterday afternoon Abashiri was in a lot of pain and would remain in hospital for the next week. “At this stage the prognosis is guarded but he is more than likely not going to run again,” said Azzie.