NZ Briefs for 09th August 2019

Roaring Lion on the mend; Verry Elleegant trials well ahead of raceday return;

Roaring Lion on the mend

Four-time Group One winner and shuttle stallion, Roaring Lion, returned to Cambridge Stud on Thursday following two colic surgeries in the last ten days.

The son of Kitten's Joy was admitted to Cambridge Equine Hospital within minutes of arriving at Cambridge Stud from quarantine on July 27.

He underwent immediate surgery which had to be repeated on August 1 to repair adhesions which had formed in his small intestine.

"Thanks to two world-class surgeons, Dr Alanna Zantingh and Dr Greg Quinn from Waikato Equine and with our own vet Dr Rob Hitchcock assisting, we have managed to save his life and he is on his way to a slow recovery," Cambridge Stud chief executive Henry Plumptre said.

"It has been a complex and challenging environment for everyone involved and we owe a massive debt of gratitude to the veterinary team and the Cambridge Stud staff, led by Marcus Corban, who have ensured his survival. While he has a long road to travel, the beginnings of a recovery are complete and having him back at Cambridge signals the start of the next stage.

"We have found this week what Sheikh Fahad and David Redvers experienced with Roaring Lion last year on the racecourse - extraordinary courage, a will to win and an amazing constitution. His demeanour remained calm at all times which was a major part of his immediate recovery. Our aim now is to slowly repair him back to full health, in order that he can return to the UK and continue his career."

Verry Elleegant trials well ahead of raceday return

Expat New Zealand jockey James McDonald is excited for the season ahead with dual Group One winner Verry Elleegant after her two recent trials in Sydney.

The Chris Waller-trained mare created quite a following last season after her heroics in autumn, taking out the Gr.1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m).

"She was very good last preparation and hopefully she can take that to weight-for-age and be competitive in those bigger races," McDonald said.

The daughter of Zed has impressed McDonald in her two recent trials and he is looking forward to riding her in her raceday resumption, which is likely to be the Gr.1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick next Saturday.

"She is going excellent," he said. "She has developed a little bit since her last preparation, but not a hell of a lot.

"She was always a fine, petite sort of filly. Now that she is a mare, she has come back in really good order."

McDonald is pleased that she has settled in her trials, something she had a tendency not to do last season.

"She is relaxing very well in her trials," he said. "She has got to do that on race day as well, but I have no qualms with her doing that."

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