Talented sprinter Bernabeu is fighting for his life at the Randwick Equine Hospital after fracturing both the sesamoid bones in his off foreleg during trackwork yesterday.
Bernabeu stamped himself as a sprinter to watch with a dominant win in the Flemington Fling (1000m) on Melbourne Cup Day, but a return to racing now seems extremely unlikely; with trainer John O’Shea stating that vets will make an assessment at the end of the week on how to best proceed with the son of Fastnet Rock.
“He is under scrutiny at the REC and they are just going to continue to monitor him and make an assessment at the end of the week,” O’Shea told Racing Ahead this morning.
“He fractured both sesamoids in his off-fore and it is obviously not an ideal scenario.”
Big things were expected of Bernabeu during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing and he was well-backed in the lead-up to the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 15, but failed to beat home a single runner and went on to finish at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at the same venue on March 8.
O’Shea revealed that Bernabeu was being accessed to see if he had any breathing problems when he suffered the life-threatening injury and said that he was disappointed for all those that are connected to the promising three-year-old.
“I’ve never had one in my time and it was actually a little bit uncanny because he was actually having a dynamic scope conducted,” O’Shea said.
“He wasn’t even at the top of his gallop, he was going three quarter pace, and he just came into the straight and took an ordinary step
“The rider eased him down and that is what presented to us when he had an x-ray.
“He was just being examined to see if he had any issues in term of his breathing because obviously his past two performances were below par.
“There weren’t any soundness issues that had been presented during any of his vet inspections either prior or post his races.
“It is very disappointing for the ownership group and very disappointing and disheartening for staff because he was a very important part of our stable.”
O’Shea will vacate his Randwick stable at the end of the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival to take up the role as head trainer for the Darley operation.