MULTIPLE group-winning horse One Foot In Heaven is no certain starter in this year’s Hong Kong Vase after the colt was flagged by stewards upon its arrival in the country.
The Irish four-year-old, which is on the fifth line of betting for the Vase at $17 – was deemed to have a blood abnormality after arriving in Hong Kong on Saturday.
In a statement released by Chief Stipendiary Steward Kim Kelly, the position of the horse is far from assured heading into the HK$16,500,000 group 1 race.
“Dr Peter Curl, Executive Manager, Veterinary Regulation has advised the Stewards that One Foot In Heaven, trained by MrAlain de Royer Dupreand, entered to run in the Hong Kong Vase (Group 1) on Sunday, 11 December 2016, has been found upon routine post-arrival health screening to show evidence of a blood abnormality after arriving in Hong Kong on Saturday, 3 December 2016,” the statement read.
“Dr Curl has informed that this condition is most likely related to long distance travel.”
The statement went on to say that “The horse’s condition will continue to be monitored and a further release will be issued at the appropriate time.”
The Irish galloper has had a successful year racing in France after taking out two group 2 races, including the Prix Du Consiel de Paris just two weeks after a disappointing run in the Group 1 Prix De l’Arc de Triomphe.
If One Foot In Heaven is unable to take its place in the Hong Kong Vase it will be a bitter blow for a team who identified this as a race they wanted to win back in October.
The colt’s trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre said back in the aftermath of its last win that the surface at the Sha Tin racetrack in Hong Kong would be ideal for his elect.
“The ground was very soft when he won the Prix du Conseil de Paris, but I think he is a better horse on good ground, as he showed when he was sixth in the Arc de Triomphe. The ground in Hong Kong should suit him well,” Royer-Dupre said.