Hong Kong champion Vengeance Of Rain has been retired after an abject flop at Sha Tin.
The six-time G1 winner will be returned to his birthplace at Cambridge Stud in New Zealand after he suffered heart defibrillation and had to be pulled up in the Centenary Vase on February 1.
It was the second time Venegeance Of Rain had suffered from the complaint and under Hong Kong rules is subject to an immediate six months ban from racing.
Trainer David Ferraris and his owners decided immediately that he should be retired.
“It’s heartbreaking, but I guess in racing you have to roll with the punches,” Ferraris told the South China Morning Post.
“He has been training like a bomb, there was never any indication so it’s such a shock for this to happen.”
Vengeance Of Rain’s first heart irregularity occurred two years ago.
However he returned to his best form and became the first Hong Kong-trained horse to win at the World Cup meeting in Dubai where he claimed the Group One Sheema Classic in 2007.
Vengeance Of Rain is by New Zealand’s supersire Zabeel and did his early racing in Australia as Subscribe before Melbourne owner Lloyd Williams sold him to Hong Kong.
He was crowned Hong Kong’s 2007 Horse of the Year and also was named champion stayer and most popular horse.
The Centenary Vase was won by the veteran Bullish Luck, the 2006 Horse of the Year who will be set for the Hong Kong Gold Cup, a race the nine-year-old won in 2004.
Bullish Luck came through the fild form last to win running away from HK Derby winner Vital King by three lengths.
Bullish Luck’s record includes wins in four HK G1 races (2004 HK Gold Cup, 2005 Stewards Cup, 2005 and 2006 Champions Mile) and Japan’s G1 Yasuda Kinen in 2006.
Extract from Racing and Sports.com.au