A little over a year ago, on September 12, 2020, Rothfire won the Group 2 Run To The Rose at Rosehill. All was well in the Rothfire camp with both anticipation and exciting building as Rothfire lined up a shot at the $14 million The Everest.
It is now, of course, a sad matter of record that Rothfire did not make it to the 2020 edition of The Everest after suffering a devastating injury in the Golden Rose on September 26, an injury which was bad enough to put his future racing career in very serious jeopardy.
Placed in that context, what Rothfire is doing now is quite amazing.
Yes, his two recent trial wins did not come under true racing conditions and, yes, nobody will fully know if he is truly back to his best until he is put under race pressure, but his positive response to both the caring rehabilitation program he went through and his measured re-introduction to trackwork has ticked every possible box.
If he does come through his first up run well … which is scheduled to be the Group 2 The Shorts at Randwick on September 18 … his connections, whose feelings went from buoyant to battered and bruised in one unfortunate stride nearly a year ago, might just dare to dream again.
For The Everest 2021 to be on the agenda though, that first-up performance of Rothfire will be critical and, of course, a slot-holder for still has to select Rothfire for him to gain a place in the starting line-up for The Everest.
Which brings an interesting side story into play.
Will one of the slot holders still to name a horse make an early play for Rothfire, or, will any interested parties first wait and see what happens in The Shorts. The point involved here is that, if Rothfire wins The Shorts, the competition would seriously hot up for his services, so an early call might be a worthwhile move … or not!
Like everything else in racing, the slot-holders choice is a gamble.
While there is much that is unknown, of one thing there is no doubt … and that is that, whatever else is in store for Rothfire in the future, his first-up outing after that serious injury is sure to be one of the most watched comeback runs in recent times!