Shane Watson injury, it is a common story these days.
If Shane Watson was a thoroughbred racehorse his record would read something like 30 starts, 2 wins, 15 placings and 3 DNF (did not finish). The local form guide would rate him as an “honest trier with plenty of potential, but one who has failed to convert good runs into wins and has bled on several occassions.”
He would likely be a Godolphin Stable discard, an ex-favourite of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, spared of a brutal slaying by a peasant stablehand and smuggled to the island of Australia in the hull of a dusty Sheep Express. A born sprinter, he would be re-trained over time by an Outback Jack such as Joe Janiak, taught the art of stamina and patience and sent to the big city in search of Spring Group 1 glory.
All that glitters would not be Gold, however. As Watto’s first start causes an old hip injury to flare up, putting his Spring Carnival campaign in jeopary. Janiak, spurred by a blood oath to rule the world one taxi cab at a time would then seek the advice of Pauline Hanson’s political advisor and set about getting the dream back on track.
On a misty Melbourne morning Janiak goes to work in his cousins garage, converting the boot of a taxi into a mobile chemical labratory capable of producing some of the most potent steroids, anaethetics and pro-biotics known to man; and Ricky Ponting. Luckily, most ingredients are easily purchased over the counter at the local Council Office, yet the smoked collarbone of an orphan infidel and baby teeth of Steve Smith’s first cousin would be harder to extract. A few phonecalls to local racing identities will ensure all is well that ends well; an injection or two later and big Shane is ready to start the following Saturday.
Moving forward, at the barriers in the Cox Plate. Janiak pulls up in his quasi-taxi-mobile-Boost-juicer, giving Shane the last of his remedy. The starter signals and Watson bursts out of the barriers, severely tearing the muscle on his hip flexxer upon sprinting. Hopes dashed, promosing career and dreams of global equine domination all but over.
The story in racing, as in cricket, presents three questions of morality. Was Watson rushed back too soon? Did Waston, being a horse, have any say in the trainers insistence of medicating an early comeback? Should Watson have been saved for a bigger, more important feature race in coming weeks?
I answer Yes to all of the above.
The Shane Watson injury situation has often brought me to the edge of insanity, demonstrated well in this article.