Star Queensland gelding Rothfire may not race again after suffering a serious injury in the Golden Rose on Saturday.
Rothfire who was sent out as the heavily backed odds on favourite in the Golden Rose weakened in the concluding stages of the race to run fourth but a post race veterinary exam showed he was 3/5 lame prompting connections to send the horse for scans.
The results of the x-rays were returned one Sunday morning and it was not the news connections and trainer Robert Heathcote were hoping for with the horse suffering a fractured sesamoid bone.
“It’s serious,” Heathcote said.
“It may need surgical intervention, it may not. We have got more tests to do, more scans.
“There’s clearly a displaced fracture. At the 200m mark when he dipped, that’s what happened.
“It won’t be for a year (until you see him again). He will have a lengthy convalescence and hopefully he will come back with the same athletic ability he had.”
Rothfire was the all-in favourite for the $15m Everest prior to the running of the Golden Rose with MiRunners slot in the race now back up for grabs.
Heathcote is hopeful the horse will be able to return but he will require a minimum of twelve months to recover from the injury with many horses never returning or returning well below their previous form casting doubt on the future of the stars racing career.
The trainer bought the star galloper sight unseen because he liked Rothfire’s sire, Rothesay for $11,000.
Heathcote’s payment however was intercepted by a Nigerian phishing scam and couldn’t be recovered, so he had to fork out again.
“I paid $22,000 for ‘Buff’ and I paid $11,000 for Rothfire but I had to pay it twice. Oddly enough, they both ended up costing the same,” Heathcote said.
Rothfire has since established himself among the best of his generation, winning seven of his nine starts and more than $850,000.