Injury Calls Time On Koblenz's Career

MELBOURNE Cup hero Koblenz has been retired to stud after suffering a career ending injury in a trial hit-out on Saturday night.

Mick Floyd

15 March 2022

MELBOURNE Cup hero Koblenz has been retired after suffering a career ending injury in a trial on Saturday night.

The brilliant son of Fernando Bale and Up Hill Jill had only recently returned from a metatarsal injury and was trialling in preparation for a tilt at the upcoming Golden Easter Egg series when he went amiss.

“He broke his hock in a trial at Geelong on Saturday,” said his dejected trainer, David Geall.

“He was on the inside track and only went about 80m before faltering at the winning post and I knew he was in strife.”

Des Fegan successfully operated on Sunday morning, inserting four screws to stabilize the joint.

“It broke in two places, the x-ray is terrible to look at,” Geall added.

“He’s such a beautiful dog and he’s already missing going racing – how’s that for a competitive beast – he’s wanting to head back to the van and go racing.

“It’s really sad that he’s going to see all the dogs going in and out racing, he just wants to get out there and go.”

Best known for his brilliant early speed, Koblenz twice broke five seconds to the first mark at both Sandown and The Meadows winning at nine different tracks during his career.

While his memorable Melbourne Cup victory was an obvious career highlight, Geall was particularly proud of his Cranbourne Cup win and a winning streak that announced him as one of the country’s rising stars.

“Nothing beats the Melbourne Cup, but the Cranbourne Cup win from box four – 29.70 – his run home time was very powerful. He got him in about 8.82, it’s a very strong run home, and I though that run set him on the track to the Melbourne Cup.

Koblenz winning the Melbourne Cup

“And how proud I was when he won 11 races in a row over the sprint, mixing it in city races and feature races in the country. Winning week after week against the class of sprinters in Victoria, it was unreal that patch.”

Still two months shy of this third birthday, Koblenz retires with 26 wins from 42 career starts and over $792,000 in prize money. Geall said that while he always showed ability as a pup, it took a while for it to translate to the track.

“He broke in 17.62 at McNamara’s. His first go at Geelong box-to-box he went 17.37, a 5.37 split which is quicker than what most group 1 dogs run now,” Geall said.

“Jordan Cooper, who helps me with the dogs now, was there that day at Geelong and he said to me ‘I’ll see him in the Melbourne Cup,’ and that was when he was 16 months old.

“We thought he’d just win at Warragul (on debut) and he didn’t fire. He won his maiden in the Vic Breeders at Warrnambool and gave him another run but he just wasn’t going. We gave a month off and boy did he go after that.”

A limited number of straws were taken during his recent spell away from the track and Geall said that two bitches had already been implanted. Once Koblenz has fully recovered, he will commence stud duties at Geall’s Lara property.

“Going by the text messages I’ve had he’s set for a lucrative stud career, but geez, I know what I’d rather – I’d rather be racing through to the Melbourne Cup in November.

“He’s irreplaceable, he has just a beautiful temperament. I’ll tell you this – if he had a choice of being a stud dog or a race dog, I know which way he’d go, he’d go straight to the track. He’s a chip off his mother’s block!

“It has been a wonderful ride.”

A limited number of straws are available at $1950, and Geall said that when ready to commence stud duties straws will be available for $2250.