Good news for Hectorjayjay
By Adam Hamilton
REPORTS of Hectorjayjay’s retirement now seem premature.
In an exciting twist, the superstar’s latest injury setback is not as severe as first feared and optimism is now high around a racetrack return, possibly in time for the Inter Dominion late this year.
Managing-owner Matt McLellan said the past few weeks had been a whirlwind of emotions, but he the diagnosis of renowned Ballarat vet Ian Fulton had turned the tide.
“Of course you think, ‘oh no, it’s probably over now’ as soon as you hear he’s had another setback. Especially after just one race back from a year out,” he said.
“But when we got him to the Ballarat clinic they said he had an acute tear to his suspensory (ligament), but there were no issues with the old injury.”
In a nutshell, the diagnosis was quite positive. Hectorjayjay was treated immediately, confined to a box for a few weeks and can resume rehabilitation in the next week or so.
But the latest setback, along with Hectyorjay’s injury history, created a problem.
“We had to find a new trainer for him,” McLellan said. “It’s a shame because Gavin (Lang) did such a great job getting him back to win that Kilmore race for us first-up, but Gavin said given the ligament setbacks the horse would be better suited to someone who trained on a beach.
“There aren’t a lot of those around, but we did the homework and landed on Matty Craven.”
Hectorjayjay has been with Craven for the past couple of weeks and will be scanned again next week with a review to resuming full training.
“There’s still a way to go, but it’s exciting to think there is now serious hope of him returning to racing and fairly soon,” McLellan said.
“We obviously want him back and the sport needs him to with so many of our big names being retired, going over to the US or going amiss like Soho Tribeca recently.
“We’d love to have him back for the Inter Dominion and we’ll know about the possibility of that in the next month or so.”