Two days on from wondering whether their star mare would even make the starting gate for Sunday’s (28 April) G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) the Viddora camp advances into the weekend with hope rekindled.
“Seventy-two hours ago we were on the canvas, yesterday after being knocked down we got up off the canvas and I reckon today we’re looking pretty good to be honest,” trainer Lloyd Kennewell said at Sha Tin this morning, Friday, 26 April.
“We’re pretty close now,” he continued. “I’m pretty confident we’re going to get there. She’s gone from 20-80 to 50-50 to 70-30 yesterday, to 85-15 today. We’ve just got to make sure she pulls up well and gets through tomorrow (Saturday) when she has a vet check at 9.30am.”
Explaining the injury, Kennewell said: “She kicked out or got cast with a hind leg. She bruised the tendon, there was a lot of swelling but we can get that down. Ice and ice water and cold, clay sweats. As long as she gets there we’re quietly confident she’ll run well.
“There’s definitely no damage to the tendon – the Hong Kong Jockey Club would not let us run (if there was). All the vets have gone right over it and scanned it – that’s very clear for everyone to know. Under this system you can’t get through without all the checks. We’re not there yet but we are pretty close. Each day there’s been progress. She’s kept making steady improvement.”
Viddora cantered slowly on the turf track this morning under Joe Bowditch, the jockey slated to be in the plate for the HK$16 million contest two days hence.
“She’s much better this morning and Joe gave her the thumbs up,” Kennewell said.
“The vets have already been in this morning and trotted her up when she was cold. She hadn’t been warmed up and she trotted up really nice. It’s very minimal, the lameness. We’re hoping for more improvement over the next twenty-four hours. Keep heading in the right direction. We’re lucky we’ve had some time on our side. If this had happened Wednesday or Thursday we would have been in trouble.”
Kennewell revealed that the mare has had physiotherapy treatment too but was clear in stressing that while the camp is optimistic the I Am Invincible six-year-old can make it to the race and run well, the setback has altered the training plan.
“Unfortunately, we’re going in slightly underdone without another gallop,” he said. “Luckily she got here early and had a good gallop last week, she’s travelled everywhere and been working every day so she hasn’t missed any track work. She’s just missed a gallop. It’s a sprint race, she’s a sprinter and I’d much rather go in underdone than give her a gallop when she wasn’t right to go.
“She runs extremely well when fresh,” he continued. “I can tell you she’s a little bit ‘pushy and shovey’, and when she’s like that and how she’s been the last few days she’s well. She’s very bright in the eye. She’s waiting for a gallop and her gallop will be Sunday.”
Viddora is set to face nine rivals including the world’s top-rated sprinter Santa Ana Lane and Hong Kong’s leading speedsters Mr Stunning and Beat The Clock.