Bloody mess: Disqualified cult horse loses MM crown
Trainer David Vandyke said on Thursday night the fact Alligator Blood was in good shape ahead of his four-year-old season would help reconcile the Magic Millions Guineas disqualification handed to the horse.
Stewards disqualified Alligator Blood from his January victory in the Magic Millions, meaning he also loses the $1.165 million prizemoney, while Vandyke was fined $20,000 on a charge of presenting the horse with the prohibited substance altrenogest in its system.
Owner Allan Endresz has previously flagged his intention to appeal any adverse finding against Alligator Blood to a court of law, but for Vandyke, he wants to look at what lies ahead next season for the horse, who still remains the winner of nine of 12 starts, including the Group 1 Australian Guineas.
"It's nice to be on the other side of the hill," Vandyke said at the conclusion of Tuesday's hearing.
Kayo is your ticket to the best sport streaming Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
"It was a wonderful experience winning the Magic Millions and although the result has changed, it certainly doesn't erase that experience.
"Even without the Magic Millions, the owners, (jockey) Ryan (Maloney) and myself have all had a career best season. We're just all looking forward to next season now and we move on."
Vandyke said the drawn out process had been a test of his resolve and allowed him to reset and focus on what is most important.
"It was there lingering in the background. I knew I was headed to an inquiry at some point. I didn't know until (Thursday) what the result of that inquiry was going to be," he said.
Stewards confirm Alligator Blood disqualified from Magic Millions Guineas win and trainer David Vandyke fined $20,000 on a presentation charge. @superracing— Nathan Exelby (@xlbnathan_cmail) July 23, 2020
"It's nice that it's all out there now and I can just move on.
"Alligator Blood was all-consuming up until late February, March this year.
"Since that point in time and off the back of the positive, I've had to reset myself, just let go of the Alligator Blood story for a while reset myself, which I think has been valuable for me as a person.
"It has allowed me to concentrate on my other horses, my relationships, my fitness, my mental health. All those things have been important areas of focus since the news of the positive came out.
"It's been my best season and that's what I keep focusing on. If there's pain in the short term, sometimes the bigger picture is the best place to concentrate on."
Vandyke said he's now just looking ahead to what Alligator Blood may produce as a four-year-old.
"He's a horse that's come back and he's in good shape," he said. "If he wasn't in good shape that would be a bigger blow than anything that happened (Thursday)."
Alligator Blood will have a jumpout and trial in August ahead of his September 12 return to racing at Doomben.
Originally published as Bloody mess: Disqualified cult horse loses MM crown