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Sprint star Aerovelocity out of Japanese Gr.1 defence with colic
23 Mar 2016 | By South China Morning Post

Champion sprinter will miss his defence of the Group One Takamatsunomiya Kinen in Japan on Sunday and is en route to veterinary clinic

Aerovelocity was the first foreign horse to win the Takamatsunomiya Kinen last year, one of three Gr.1 wins on foreign soil which led him to be regarded by many as the world’s premier turf sprinter.

He flew out from Hong Kong last Tuesday and was due to move today from his arrival quarantine station to the Chukyo racecourse in Nagoya, where the race is staged.

However, trainer Paul O’Sullivan said his assistant Pierre Ng Pang-chi, who is travelling with Aerovelocity, reported this morning that the horse had been exhibiting some mild symptoms of discomfort late on Sunday and the condition had deteriorated overnight.

“Pierre said Aerovelocity had got to the point where we needed to treat him or things could get very serious,” O’Sullivan said. “It was an easy decision to make.”

Aerovelocity won a recent barrier trial batch at Sha Tin, he was treated and loaded onto a float for a journey by road to the vet clinic at one of the Japan Racing Association’s two major training centres, Miho, about 100km north east of Tokyo.

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Hopefully, it’s just a straight forward colic and he’ll be OK to race again after it but obviously the welfare of the horse is the main thing commented O’Sullivan

“It’s about a two-hour trip,” O’Sullivan said. “Pierre said the horse is quite stable, he gave no indication that the bowel was twisted. Hopefully, it’s just a straight forward colic and he’ll be OK to race again after it but obviously the welfare of the horse is the main thing.”

Colic affects a horse’s intestines, which are very long and complicated, and can cause death, especially in the case of a twisted bowel, if not treated quickly.

In March, 2010, another Hong Kong champion, Sacred Kingdom suffered a life-threatening colic on the tarmac at Chek Lap Kok airport as he was being prepared to board a flight to Japan to the run in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen.

He underwent surgery for a twisted bowel and made a full recovery, returning to win the Sha Tin Sprint Trophy and Centenary Sprint Cup the following season.