Rest for Afleet Express
The Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational is to take place next Saturday, 2 October 2010. This prestigious $750 000 event will, however, be kicking off without one very talented competitor, namely Afleet Express. Due to an injury being detected and diagnosed, Afleet Express will be resting quietly for the following ninety days and resume training in January. Even though the injury has been a setback for everyone involved in Afleet Express’ career, everyone has agreed that he is too valuable to take risks with and are happy to wait for the next racing season.
Afleet Express, owned by Martin Cherry and Gainesway Stable, has enjoyed a successful and exciting racing career so far. Trainer Jimmy Jerkens has guided him to four victories off seven career starts and he has slowly etched his way to champion status by winning the Pegasus Stakes in June, securing a third place finish in the Jim Dandy Stakes, and finally, delivering a nail-biting performance in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes, where he managed to get a nose past Fly Down to win this magnificent event. Everything seemed to be going according to plan until the weekend, when Jerkens noticed all was not well with his horse. Fortunately treatment was given before the injury to his left leg's upper suspensory became irreparable. Jerkens commented: "It seems like you could never have the whole package. He was so fantastic physically, in such good shape, then you have something happen with a leg. What he's done in such a short time is just amazing."
Jerkins went on to say that Afleet Express was not lame, and that it is not expected that his injury will leave lasting damage to the leg. Both Jerkens and the owners of Afleet Express are looking forward to his four-year-old campaign, and would rather see him in good health than take a chance of his career coming to an end. It is expected that the line-up for the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational will now include Rail Trip, Blame and Fly Down; with Musket Man, Hold Me Back, Tranquil Manner and Dry Martini also being possible contenders.