Winless for more than two years, Taking Aim completed a long, eventful trek from the brink of enforced retirement to Sha Tin’s winners’ stall after the Australian import trounced his rivals in the Class 3 Devon Handicap (1400m) on Saturday (17 April).
Placed only once in 17 starts since the end of the 2018/19 season, the Choisir gelding badly injured his nearside hock in a float mishap two years ago and, if not for the persistence of owner Edwin Cheung, the chestnut almost certainly would have been retired.
“He got badly injured in the float on the way up to Conghua and he had to have a major operation,” Whyte said after posting a double to share training honours with Benno Yung.
“He messed up his whole hock. It looked like he would have to be retired but the owner took the initiative and decided on the operation. Paul Robinson (Club veterinarian) has done an amazing job in get him back.”
The trauma was also part psychological, limiting Whyte to campaigning the six-year-old almost exclusively at Sha Tin because of a feared aversion to floats.
The former champion jockey has sent the sprinter only once to Happy Valley because of concerns over how the horse will react in a float.