Alligator Blood might only race twice more before he is done

Scott Mcglynn
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Alligator Blood might only race twice more before he is done

Two races in the autumn are as far as the connections of Alligator Blood are willing to plan with their star.

News Insights

  • Seven-year-old has had 35 career starts
  • Seven times a Group 1 winner
  • A long neck behind Romantic Warrior in the Cox Plate
  • Just two races mentioned for the autumn

The news broke this week that connections are preparing for the retirement of Alligator Blood. It might not be imminent, and if he is bouncing over the winter and wants to continue, they will, but they are not planning any further ahead than the two targets that they have ringed in the calendar for the autumn.

There have been some high-profile retirements over the spring. Key amongst them was Damien Oliver, but we also saw crack sprinters Nature Strip and Eduardo bow out before the Everest. Speaking of the Everest, the 2020 winner Classique Legend was another to retire, as well as the popular gallopers Masked Crusader and So Si Bon. 

It is part and parcel of the sport and of life in general, but the talk this week that we might be approaching the end of seeing Alligator Blood on the track will hit harder for most than a lot of retirements, given his popularity. Those who wear their heart on their sleeve are always those we admire most. 

2023 Spring Carnival

It is fair to say that there were no signs of Alligator Blood slowing down at any point in the Spring Carnival. He picked up a pair more Group 1 wins in the Underwood and Caulfield Stakes and continued his remarkable war with Mr Brightside.

Although he did not win the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley in October, his runner-up effort to Romantic Warrior was probably the best of his runs. That horse returned to Hong Kong to show his class last weekend when he won a second Hong Kong Cup.

The last time Alligator Blood was seen in action was at Flemington in the Champions Mile on November 11, when he finished third. He had six runs in his spring prep for two wins, a second, twice third and a fourth. He is one of the most consistent performers who rarely runs a bad race. 

2024 autumn races

Only two races are on the schedule for Alligator Blood in the autumn - the Futurity and the All-Star Mile. He raced in both contests in 2023, winning at Sandown Lakeside in the Futurity, beating his old rival, Mr Brightside. 

He would only manage a fourth-place finish in the All-Star Mile, where Mr Brightside got the better of him. In 2023, he would finish well down the field in the Doncaster, so it is not a surprise that connections are not looking ahead to that contest this time and keeping the seven-year-old to just a two-start prep.

No guarantee that he will return in the spring

While nothing is set in stone, Simpson is keen to let the horse tell them when he has had enough. It is an attitude welcomed by all, and it is always a sad day to see the top horses take off their racing shoes for the final time. 

Given the form that he was in during the Spring Carnival that has just passed, racing fans would love to see him back again next spring. A horse able to show that level of form at the age of seven is something of a rarity, and at eight, it would be even more so. Whatever the decision is, when the time comes, there will be many great memories to look back on from his career. 

It can be a sad sight when horses that we have loved start to fade away, but the owners keep sending them into battle. If we only have two more races to enjoy Alligator Blood, then at least he will be going out on his terms at the top of his game, which should be applauded.