Via Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club
Injury has forced Group winner Blizzard out into an early retirement, during which time he will enjoy a new life as an eventer in Australia.
The Group 3 Fortune Bowl (1400m) winner and former top Hong Kong sprinter did a tendon to his off-fore leg a few days before his scheduled race in the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1600m) on Sunday.
The Starcraft eight-year-old went amiss shortly after he won a barrier trial the week before on September 12. He was scratched from the Raffles Cup, incidentally causing the cancellation of a first Kranji visit of top Melbourne jockey Damian Lane, who had been booked for the ride, followed by a decision to retire him to Warrawee Park in Victoria.
“It’s an old recurring injury of the right tendon. We’ve tried to manage it, but it was unfortunately the last straw after the last trial,” said Jo Johnson, trainer Lee Freedman’s partner.
“The owner Andrew Chan is from Hong Kong, but has many contacts in Australia, and was able to find this place at Warrawee Park for Blizzard to retire at.
“Rebecca Snell, an eventing rider, will be taking care of him there. We’re all happy he’ll get a new life in Australia as he’s been such a good horse to us and deserves a good retirement.
“He’s still at the stables, waiting for a flight to Australia.”
Blizzard bows out the winner of one race (Fortune Bowl when partnered by Daniel Moor) in eight starts in Singapore, having pocketed the tidy sum of $490,000, largely due to both his Fortune Bowl success and his second place to Hong Kong’s Southern Legend in last May’s $1.5 million Group 1 Kranji Mile, making him the first locally-trained galloper home in the invitational race.
While Freedman turned him into a sprinter-miler at Kranji, in Hong Kong, the Infinitude Stable-trained chestnut made his name in sprint, racking up seven wins and 10 placings from 31 starts for more than US$2 million in prizemoney when prepared by trainer Ricky Yiu. The highest acclaim came in the Group 3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1400m) at Sha Tin in 2017. He also raced in Japan in the 2017 Sprinters Stakes and 2018 Takamatsunomiya Kinen, running fifth in both Grade 1 events over 1200m.