Saveapatrol winning as a trotter at Nelson last month. Photo: Race Images.
Saveapatrol broke down yet again last week but his trainer, Mark Jones, is not about to throw the towel in just yet.
The eight-year-old Christian Cullen gelding cracked a pastern in his near side hind leg and now has two screws in each of his pasterns.
Jones has pretty much lost count of the number of times Saveapatrol has gone amiss but he can add up operations on six occasions.
“Cracked bones are not as bad as tendon and suspensory injuries because once they’re healed the bone is stronger than it was before the break,” said Jones.
“So, we’ll bring him back again – he has been a very good client of Bill Bishop’s and he has to pay for all those ops.”
Jones was of course joking with the main reason for another comeback being Saveapatrol’s well known aversion to retirement.
He made a successful comeback a month ago at Nelson when winning his first race as a trotter in his first start for two and a half years.
Saveapatrol was then sent out the warm favourite for a handicap at Motukarara two weeks later on the strength of that performance but he paced away – “something he’ll revert to when he gets stirred up” – and was down to have his first race from a mobile at Addington last Friday night.
But he cracked the pastern the Wednesday prior and was scratched.
“That was going to be his last start as a trotter for a while actually because we were going to switch him back to pacing for some FFAs coming up at Addington.
“I should have actually had him in the Invercargill Cup recently as that wasn’t an overly strong field.
“He could have had the hopples on for a week and he would have been very competitive. That was my mistake.
“He’ll come back trotting again and we can switch him to pacing when the time is right.”
Saveapatrol had won 11 of his 18 races pacing since first racing five years ago, accounting for the Geraldine, Marlborough and Invercargill Cups while finishing third in the 2014 Auckland Cup won by Terror To Love over Adore Me.