Singapore’s multiple champion sprinter Rocket Man has been withdrawn from the May 20 $1 million group I KrisFlyer International Sprint.
Trainer Pat Shaw and owner Fred Crabbia decided to err on the side of caution after discovering the 6-year-old had a ligament strain. Dr. Curry Keoughan, the Singapore Turf Club’s veterinary surgeon confirmed that Rocket Man had a swollen left front medial suspensory ligament.
"It’s like twisting an ankle," said Shaw. "All it needs is rest and he will get over it.
"If we were to press on it could cause long-term damage or even worse irreparable damage and that was not a risk I could take and remember he has a screw in the other leg as well. He can have a good rest now, and we will get him back up for his next campaign," Shaw said. As a 3-year-old Rocket Man suffered a condylar fracture to the offside cannon bone that kept him sidelined for eight months.
The Australian-bred son of Viscount—Macrosa, by McGinty, suffered a mild strain after running second in the group I Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 31, but Shaw did get him to the post April 29 for his fourth consecutive victory in Singapore’s group I Lion City Cup.
Shaw described Rocket Man’s latest injury as a "sporting injury" and likened it to an athlete who runs so fast that they over-reach. He said the gelding was sound while walking on the leg but the swelling had just gotten worse in recent weeks.
Rocket Man was looking for a repeat victory in the KrisFlyer after scoring a breakthrough win last year in his third attempt.