The career of Alligator Blood could be at an end

By:
Scott Mcglynn
31/01/2024
Horse Racing Betting Tips
Horse Racing News
The career of Alligator Blood could be at an end

Seven-time Group 1 winner Alligator Blood might have run his last race after suffering an injury at the weekend. 

News Insights

  • Alligator Blood suffered the injury on Saturday
  • It is a pastern issue which is found just above the hoof
  • Multiple Group 1 winner was being aimed at bold Autumn campaign
  • Battles with Mr Brightside have become legendary

We wrote a piece a little over six weeks ago that the Autumn prep could be the last one for Alligator Blood, but those possible retirement plans might have to be brought forward after he suffered an injury to a pastern in a workout.  

There is always such disappointment when a horse cannot retire on their own terms. An injury-forced end to a career is a bitter blow, no matter what level they race at. When they are one of the most popular racehorses in the country, however, it makes it tougher that we might not see Alligator Blood on the track again. 

Kissing Spine 

This is not the first time that the connections of Alligator Blood have been told that their horse is unlikely to race again. He was diagnosed with a kissing spine back in late 2020, undergoing a 90-minute operation to help widen the gap between two of his vertebrae to allow him to move without discomfort.  
 
Not only did he come back from that surgery that was said likely to end his career, but he came back bigger and better to become one of the top runners at about 1600m in the country when he joined the Waterhouse team.

15 wins, including seven Group 1 

In horse racing, only a small percentage of horses manage to win a race of any description. To win 15 is a magnificent achievement, and for seven of those to be at the top level in the sport makes Alligator Blood one of those rare stars that rarely come around. 
 
Seventeen of his 35 career races have come at Group 1 level, and along with those seven wins, he has three seconds and two thirds. To make it into the frame in 12 of 17 shows what a warrior he has been and one who holds his form incredibly well through each of his preparations.  

The Brightside battles 

One of the highlights in recent years has been to see Alligator Blood take on Mr Brightside regularly. While the Waterhouse-trained runner has come out on the losing side of that fight more often than not, the battling attitude he has shown in those defeats has endeared him to the racing public. 
 
That was one of the things that most fans were looking forward to again this autumn - the pair of them going head-to-head once more in several new battles. They were due to clash in less than a fortnight at Caulfield, which would have immediately set the autumn fireworks off.  

“As good as ever” 

That was what Adrian Bott said about him after a couple of recent trial wins ahead of an autumn campaign they hoped would take in the Orr Stakes on the first day of autumn Group 1 action on February 10. After that, they looked at running him in the Futurity Stakes, the All-Star Mile and then the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. 
 
That is all now off the table, and if he is to return to the track, it will not be for at least a calendar year. That would have him rising nine, which would be some feat of training, even by the incredibly high standards of Waterhouse and Bott.

Retirement is only the worst-case scenario, with Waterhouse expressing hope that a year on the sidelines could see Alligator Blood back for the start of 2025 and an autumn campaign. Whether at the age of eight that would be the right call, only the horse himself can tell his connections, but we hope for the best whatever their decision.