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Trainer Healey hopeful of retaining Alligator Blood

DS4-0398.jpgBy Jordan Gerrans

Up-and-coming trainer Billy Healey is optimistic his role in the rehabilitation of Group 1 winner Alligator Blood might not be as short as first expected.

One of the stars of Queensland racing, the five-year-old is working his way back from spinal surgery, jumping out between races at his home track of Caloundra on Sunday afternoon.

With Alligator Blood no longer in the care of leading Sunshine Coast trainer David Vandyke, the winner of nine races from 15 starts is now with fellow Sunshine Coast-based trainer Healey, with the original plan to send the gelding to Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott for his spring campaign.

Young horseman Healey thinks that if Alligator Blood was to remain in his barn, he is the type of horse that could kick-start his career at the highest level.

“It is not known yet if he is only here for pre-training, he might be here to stay, a horse like him would be great to keep because he is the type of horse that could make your career,” Healey said.

“I am very privileged because the owners are big supporters of mine, I have got a lot of really nice young horses of theirs in my stable coming through.

“He will have the next trial with me and then we will sit down after that to work out where we are going and what is going to happen.”

Earlier this year, connections indicated that Healey was a chance to hold on to the returning gelding with his work behind the scenes with Alligator Blood praised on a number of occasions.

Billy Healey Next Racing

DS4-0367.jpgFollowing on from the surgery last year, Healey says the Australian Guineas winner of 2020 is as “sound as a bell” and has no issues as he ramps up his return to racing campaign.

In a three-horse exhibition gallop on Sunday between races, the son of All Too Hard put four lengths on his rivals under a strong hold from newly minted Queensland premiership winner, James Orman.

According to Healey, one of the cult heroes of Queensland racing has come up better than he would have hoped after such a lengthy injury lay-off, describing his emotions as “rapt” with the gun gelding. 

“He has come back in really good order, I am really pleased with him and he trialled up really nicely,” Healey said.

“We will have another trial Monday week at the Gold Coast.

“He was very impressive on Sunday and probably better than what I expected, but he was carrying some condition and a bit big and the way he trialled up like he did, I was very pleased.

“He coasted to the line under Jimmy, he looked pretty impressive and he is going really well.”

If the decision is for Alligator Blood to remain with Healey, he floated the idea of kicking off his campaign on the Gold Coast before looking to the southern states through the Spring Carnival.

The plan is to get Alligator Blood to the Cox Plate later this year, where he is rated a $51 chance with TAB, with lead-in races such as the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and the Toorak Handicap also on the agenda.

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