Bold Thruster dies after trackwork injury

By Michael Lee, Singapore Turf Club

Classy sprinter Bold Thruster suffered a catastrophic injury in trackwork on Thursday morning and had to unfortunately be put down a few hours later.

The incident happened at the end of a routine gallop on the Kranji Polytrack (Track 2). Sensing something amiss, a track rider of Michael Clements’ pulled the black gelding up shortly after the winning post.

Standing gingerly on his right foreleg and evidently in pain, Bold Thruster was immediately floated to the veterinary hospital where X-rays revealed he had sustained a distracted basilar fracture of both the medial and lateral sesamoid bones of his right fore.

n the vets’ advice to Clements, it was decided to euthanase the stricken horse.

The Zimbabwean-born handler said that as gut-wrenching as the decision was, it was made in the best interests of the horse. While he didn’t see the actual gallop, Clements rushed to the scene as soon as he was told and stayed with Bold Thruster right till the end.

“I didn’t see the gallop, it was around 7.30am, but Chopsy (assistant-trainer Michael White) was right there. I got there as soon as he called me,” said Clements.

“The vets came down as well. He was in a bit of pain, and couldn’t stand properly, so we stabilised him before we got him off for X-rays.

“Unfortunately, he had a bilateral fracture of the sesamoid bone to the right front leg. It’s the bone behind the fetlock that holds all the ligaments that carry down to and are attached to the hoof, and is basically responsible for holding the leg, and that was why he couldn’t stand.

“This is basically a catastrophic injury from which a horse is not savable. Actually, vets have previously tried to save horses from such injuries, but they’ve never been successful.

“It’s a long journey trying to save them while they are always in pain. Basically, they can never recover for racing.

“After weighing up all possible options, the vets’ advice was to go ahead and do the humane thing. We did it in the best interests of the horse.”

Clements said that Bold Thruster didn’t have any prior leg conditions, but by the very nature of him being a speedball, his legs needed mollycoddling all the time.

“He was never a sound-as-a-bell type of horse because he’s a very fast horse. So, after his races, he would have minor pains down the road, and that’s why we had to maintain his soundness,” he said.

“It was never a major concern. It was just management to keep him sound.

“Today, it was just a normal gallop on Track 2 in preparation for the Class 1 race over 1200m next week. He did 36 in the last 600m, nothing out of the ordinary.

“But as he was galloping towards the line, he must have loaded the leg at that microsecond when he was not able to take it.

“It’s very sad to see him end off his career like that out on the tracks, and it’s even harsher for a very genuine racehorse like Bold Thruster.

“We saw that at his last race (Merlion Trophy on August 23) when he was beaten at the 100m but he still ran his heart out to run second (to Excelling). He just loved his racing.

“Of course, I’ve already informed the owner Mr Thomas Loke (Tivic Stable). It’s heartbreaking.”

A five-year-old by Turffontein, Bold Thruster was a beautiful gleaming black speed machine that broke the hearts of his rivals nine times in 17 starts, banking in more than $850,000 in stakes. He was also placed five times.

First prepared by trainer Shane Baertschiger, Bold Thruster racked up his first six wins for the Australian, including three at Group 3 level, the 2018 Saas Fee Stakes (1200m), the 2019 JBBA Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) and the 2019 Rocket Man Sprint (1200m).

Moved to Clements in July last year, he added three more wins to his haul, with two of them again recorded at Group 3 level, but stepped up to 1400m, the 2020 Fortune Bowl and 2020 Silver Bowl, a clear sign he could be stretched a little further.

Four jockeys have been successful on him, with lightweight rider Barend Vorster (now a leading jockey in Adelaide) boasting the best partnership on five wins, followed by Vlad Duric (two), John Powell (one) and Louis-Philippe Beuzelin (one).

The black flash has left us way too soon, and thousands of fans will no doubt mourn such a big loss to Singapore racing.

Author: iRace