Astute trainer Kelvin Bourke hopes Divine Ten can find his best form after injury. Photo: Damian White?While trainer Kelvin Bourke is excited by the challenge of resurrecting one-time world-class sprinter Divine Ten he is under no illusions that to repatriate an injured tendon in any racehorse is not easy.
Patience, horsemanship and an understanding of the work required to bring large long striding horses back from the tiniest of tendon tears is painstakingly difficult.
A former champion jumps jockey,?Bourke?will see first hand at Flemington on Saturday what months of work have done to the seven-year-old sprinter when Divine Ten runs in the Arbroath Handicap at Flemington.
Divine Ten broke down in late September 2014, and midway through 2015 the sprinter was brought to Australia and spelled at The Nook Stud at Nagambie, north of Melbourne.
After that the horse was sent to Bourke, who has excellent? swimming ?facilities ?for his team.
“I probably spend 45 minutes a day with him either riding him or walking him in the salt water. That’s the best cure and he hasn’t looked back since he got off the float last year,” Bourke said.
“When he’s at his best he’s a serious racehorse. One day in Hong Kong he ran under 56 seconds for a thousand metres and that’s really moving.”
Divine Ten will race at ?Flemington having had just eight race starts for five wins and two placings, only missing a stake money cheque on one occasion –?the day he broke down.
During his time in Hong Kong Divine Ten scored over 1000m on five occasions from six attempts. Before going amiss he was earmarked as a potential world-class sprinter.
As an example of his brilliance, Divine Ten defeated Aerovelocity, who just last year took out the Sprint Championship in Hong Kong.
“The horse is owned in Hong Kong and they know the battles that lay ahead when you’ve got a horse in rehab attempting to come back from a tendon but I can honestly say we haven’t had one moment’s concern,” Bourke said.
“We’ve taken him to the Ballarat veterinary clinic for scans and we’ve had scans done here locally and they’re spot on.
“Of course it’s exciting if I can get him back. We’re under no illusion that it’s been a bit over two years and they sometimes need racing but he’s galloped up well in the jump outs and because of a bit of a mix up with the horse being under an embargo back in Hong Kong I’ve had to trial him.
“It meant that I had to scratch him from a race at Moonee Valley and take him to Terang to trial. I think it was a pretty good standard trial as horses like Palentino were in our heat. But he wasn’t asked to do much, but what he did I liked.”
Bourke laughs when he recalls Divine Ten’s life story, as the horse was sold as a yearling at a Victorian sale and was then taken to New Zealand where he ran in the Breeze Up Sales and was then bought again by a bloodstock agent for Hong Kong and he’s now on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria.
“He’s been around but that won’t stop him, he’ll enjoy the straight track on Saturday and we’ve got Damien Oliver on him so I couldn’t ask for much more. Everything going well he should be hard to beat, but with horses like this you’re always worried in the back of your mind that he hasn’t been to the races for two years and they often need a bit more time. We’ll just have to wait and see,” he said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.