Good then bad news for Historian camp

Gary Alton is resigned to the fact he has missed “the trip of a lifetime” with Historian after coming so close.

The Cambridge trainer entered his dual Group One winner for the Gr. 1 $2.2 million Audemars Piguet QE II Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on April 27, even though he knew it was a longshot to get the invitation to represent New Zealand with the patched-up six-year-old.

That longshot came in, albeit briefly, when Alton received confirmation early last week Historian had been invited, but before being able to celebrate the good news a bombshell was dropped. Historian hadn’t met the quarantine regulations by having had just one of two required inoculations.

“He had his first jab (inoculation) the day after the Sires’ Produce meeting (March 29) but apparently he needed to have another one here before going over,” said Alton. “We’d left it all up to the vet but we should have checked. I don’t think anyone expected him to get the nod.”

There have been circumstances whereby the second inoculation can be done in Hong Kong and Alton exhausted all avenues for this to happen, but without any joy.

“We got a fax back this morning from Hong Kong to say sorry there would be no dispensation,” said Alton yesterday. “It’s a real shame. From what I’ve heard, it would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“It would have been great to get him back up there, especially after he had been retired there because his tendon was that bad.”

Historian was sent to Hong Kong after finishing second to Jimmy Choux in the 2011 Gr. 1 NZ Derby, but returned to New Zealand without racing in Hong Kong. Alton and his partner, Catherine Cameron, have done a marvellous job not only getting Historian back on the racetrack but capable of winning at the highest level.

Historian won last year’s Gr. 1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile in his third start from Alton’s stable and obviously sealed his invitation for the QE II Cup with his win in the Gr. 1 Zabeel Classic on Boxing Day and his second to Silent Achiever in the Gr. 1 Lindauer NZ Stakes last month.

Having been ruled out of the QE II Cup, Historian is now to be set for a Brisbane campaign.

“We’d kept him up to the mark for Hong Hong, but we’ll now ease up on him for a couple of weeks then get him ready for Brisbane,” said Alton.