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By Graham Potter | Friday, May 27, 2022

Alligator Blood is due to make his much-awaited debut for the Waterhouse and Bott stable in the Group 3 BRC Sprint over 1300m at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

It has been anything but an easy road for the son of All Too Hard since he won the Group 1 Australian Guineas all the way back in February 2020.

Up until that stage, under the astute care of trainer David Vandyke, Alligator Blood had virtually carried all before him winning nine of his first ten starts (with one of those victories later taken off him via disqualification) and only being beaten by a nose in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.

But all would not stay well in the Alligator Blood camp.

Within six months the ownership group and Vandyke had reportedly fallen out and the horse left the Vandyke stable … but, more significantly, Alligator Blood had also been diagnosed with a ‘kissing spine’ problem which required surgery.

Recovery from that was always going to take time but, equally, the ownership group also announced as early as November 2020 that the horse would go to Waterhouse and Bott stable when it embarked on its return to racing.

It didn’t.

The owners changed their mind and Alligator Blood stayed in Queensland with trainer Billy Healey who had been involved in Alligator Blood’s post-surgery rehabilitation and pre-training.

It would take all the way to August 2021 for Alligator Blood to make his comeback after a ten-month layoff from race action … but his stay with Healey lasted just four months and three starts before another change … or at least a reversion to Plan A was brought into play with the owners moving Alligator Blood to the Waterhouse and Bott stable.

Throughout his comeback phase, a number of very big races have been optimistically touted as targets for Alligator Blood, but they have come and gone without the horse putting in any appearance … and with each missed target, so too, for many, had the chance of Alligator Blood returning to his best seemingly evaporated just that little bit more.

Now, on Saturday, the proof will be in the pudding.

The result, racing from a very wide draw, first-up after a five-and-a-half month layoff … and having only his fourth start in the last nineteen months … will not necessarily be the be-all and end-all of Alligator Blood’s future, but it will provide some very important evidence of exactly where the horse currently stands in that regard.

On the positive side, Alligator Blood has been trialling very well and does have all of the Waterhouse and Bott training partnership’s significant expertise behind his challenge.

Saturday will be the first opportunity to see if they have been able to work a bit of their magic.

More articles

Adrian Bott ... an integral part of the Waterhouse / Bott training partnership which has entrusted with trying to revitalise Alligator Blood's career
Adrian Bott ... an integral part of the Waterhouse / Bott training partnership which has entrusted with trying to revitalise Alligator Blood's career
Alligator Blood

Photos: Graham Potter and Darren Winningham
Alligator Blood

Photos: Graham Potter and Darren Winningham
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