Just when it appeared Classique Legend was set to show his true colours in Hong Kong with a scheduled return to racing on Easter Monday, a bleed at trackwork this morning has changed everything for the 2020 The Everest winner.
Both trainer Casper Fownes and jockey Zac Purton had been particularly pleased with the greys progress since his disappointing debut run in Hong Kong last December, but the events of this morning brought all of their plans to an abrupt halt.
The compulsory three month ban which comes with a bleed has in fact brought Classique Legend’s all too brief Hong Kong campaign to an end with Fownes confirming that Classique Legend would now return to Australia to re-join the Les bridge stable where the long term aim would be to prepare him for a defence of his The Everest title.
“He was absolutely flying, we got him to where we wanted to get him and then he comes back, he coughs a couple of times and there is a little trickle of blood and I have to call it unfortunately,” Caspar Fownes told the South China Morning Post.
“It’s very sad, but these things happen. He was ready to rock an’ roll – he was only getting better and better.
Classique Legend, who has only raced thirteen times, is a six-time winner with four minor placings to his credit and stake-earnings in excess of $8.5 million.