Injury forces Chicago Bull out of NZ Cup

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NZ Harness News, October 30, 2018

The connections of Western Australian pacer Chicago Bull have been dealt a shocking blow after their pacer was ruled out of the New Zealand Cup on Tuesday with a broken back.

A standard veterinary procedure turned into a nightmare when the horse had an anaphylactic reaction to an intravenous injection on Saturday morning.

Chicago Bull was being given fluids as a precautionary measure after emphatically winning his first start in New Zealand start for the Hall stable on Friday night.

Visiting Perth pacer Chicago Bull after winning at Auckland for Gary Hall jun. (Trish Dunell photo).

The horse flipped over and landed on his back in a shocking scene.

Caretaker trainer and driver, Gary Hall jun, said the horse initially came through the incident in reasonable order.

“I actually gave him really light jog work thinking it was just muscle stiffness because he did not appear to land too badly.”

The Hall camp have been unable to confirm the details of the incident until Tuesday.

The horse had to be trucked from his temporary base in Auckland to a specialised x-ray machine in Cambridge after a lengthy diagnostic process.

It was eventually revealed Chicago Bull had six broken bones in his back.

Despite that horror diagnosis, the Southland-bred is in good spirits.

“To initially walk off the spot he is a bit reluctant, but once he gets moving he is fine.”

The horse will be left in New Zealand, to initially recuperate in a loose box, until he is fit enough to fly back to Western Australia.

In a cruel twist, the horse did not necessarily need to undergo the rehydration procedure.

However it is common practice for the Hall stable, who among the best travellers of horses in Australasia, when they take a horse away from home.

“He didn’t really need it, but it is something we do, it is a routine thing.

“We have travelled a fair bit now and it is just something we do and we thought we were doing the right thing by him.”

Hall Jnr was left devastated by the incident and his first thoughts were with the horse’s welfare.

Missing out on a chance to win the New Zealand Cup only made the situation worse.

“I am devastated, really.”

“The closer we got to the cup the bigger chance we thought we had of winning it based on what he had done and what his rivals had done over the weekend.”

News of Chicago Bull’s injury sent shockwaves through the Australasian harness racing industry.

It also had a marked effect on the New Zealand Cup market.

Ultimate Machete remains the favourite for the race and moved in to a $3.60 price with the New Zealand TAB after Chicago Bull’s withdrawal from the race.

Second favourite, Tiger Tara, moved in to a $3.90 quote.

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