There’s never been a sting like it in horse racing.
At least, that’s what Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy reckons after a Hobartville Stakes outsider’s close encounter with a potentially deadly species of marine wildlife.
As one of the leading law enforcers of the Australian turf, Murrihy has no doubt come across many sharks in his time.
But having to issue a report on a horse which has been attacked by a stingray is a new one as Queensland galloper Too Good To Refuse prepares to take on some of Australia’s best three-year-olds at Rosehill on Saturday.
“I’ve never had to inspect a horse on the basis it got bitten by a stingray,” Murrihy told AAP.
“I’ve heard of a spider bite, a bee sting and a wasp but not a stingray.
“It’s just another thing you put in the first-time-ever category.”
Trainer Desleigh Forster told stewards Too Good To Refuse had not missed a day of trackwork since being injured on the near foreleg last Friday and she expected the colt to be fit to take his place against glamour three-year-old Press Statement.
“The stable is happy with the wound now but we’ll get it checked on raceday,” Murrihy said.
“Apparently it was only a very small puncture but necessarily when you get stung by a stingray it has some anti-clotting venom and it took a while for the wound to stop bleeding.
“It’s Murphy’s Law isn’t it? Anything can go wrong.”
Too Good To Refuse will be making his second trip to Sydney after a hit-and-run spring visit that resulted in a close fifth in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes.
And he is not without his fans for his return with his odds halved to $23 in early betting.