Sports

Injury ends Jimmy Rea's Kranji career

One of trainer Mark Walker's premiership-winning season's flagbearers, JIMMY REA, will unfortunately not be seen at Kranji any more.

After a prolific first campaign that saw the Thewayyouare four-year-old rack up six wins and three placings for more than $430,000 in stakes earnings in 13 runs, hopes were high for another successful season, especially at the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge.

But fate intervened after he injured himself at his last Singapore race, the Group 2 EW Barker Trophy (1,400m) on Nov 13, when he ran seventh to Gold Rutile.

Jimmy Rea underwent a successful surgery to his suspensory, with vets recommending a 12-month rest if he was to race again.

New Zealand owner Kevin Hickman (of Silent Achiever fame) has, however, decided that should the big-finish sprinter make a full recovery, he would continue his racing career back home.

"It's a shame he's leaving us as he was a very good horse. He did the suspensory to his right foreleg after the EW Barker," said assistant-trainer Gus Clutterbuck.

"After Dr Dan Shaw operated on him, he went to the spelling stables and he is now ready to be shipped to New Zealand via Australia. He enters quarantine tomorrow and will leave on Jan 23.

"Dr Shaw said he needed at least 12 months of rest. After that, depending on how he is, he may try to race again in New Zealand where he will be joining the Te Akau stable with Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards."

The good news for Jimmy Rea's fans is that his injury is not rare and according to Dr Shaw, roughly one in two cases makes it back to the track.

"We operated on Jimmy Rea's right front medial sesamoid. He had fragments removed," said the Singapore Turf Club veterinary surgeon.

"If it heals properly, he has a 55 per cent chance of returning to racing. It's not an uncommon injury and we've had horses here who successfully made a comeback."