FLAMBOYANT owner Allan Endresz has revealed it was the insistence of connections which led to Alligator Blood undergoing a vet examination that discovered his star galloper requires back surgery.
Trainer David Vandyke informed both QRIC and Racing NSW stewards on Friday that scans had revealed a degenerative back condition which is commonly referred to as kissing spines.
A common injury with gallopers, most horses make a full recovery after treatment.
However, Alligator Blood is expected to be on the sidelines for at least four months and is unlikely to race over the autumn carnival.
Alligator Blood raced three times over the spring.
The son of All Too Hard was beaten as favourite when resuming at Doomben over the unsuitable distance of 1110m.
He then bungled the start in the Silver Eagle at Randwick before finishing runner-up.
Alligator Blood then failed to fire in the $7.5 million Golden Eagle on October 31 which was run on a heavy 9.
Endresz said he suspected Alligator Blood was carrying some sort of injury all preparation.
"David thought there was more of an issue with his attitude and mindset," Endresz said.
"But my uncle Jeff, aunty Robyn and myself weren't convinced of that.
"A lot of people were quick to blame the heavy track for his failure in the Golden Eagle.
"But jockey Ryan Maloney said he seemed to be travelling well in the race until the 800m mark.
"When the gap presented, 'Al' just didn't show that trademark explosive turn of foot that we all have become accustomed to.
"We just thought there wasn't something right physically with the horse."
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Endresz said he first suspected there was something amiss with Alligator Blood after watching a replay of the Silver Eagle.
"We honestly thought after the Silver Eagle that with his action, it looked like he was compensating for some sort of injury," he said.
"After the Golden Eagle we insisted that he be sent to Gatton campus of the University of Queensland for a thorough check-up from the vets.
"And sure enough he has got what is commonly known as kissing spine.
"I'm just glad that we got to the bottom of it opposed to tipping him out for a freshen-up and then seeing how the horse came back.
"I knew there had to be a reason he wasn't the same 'Al' as he was as a three-year-old.
"The best news is most horses make a fully recovery after treatment."
Endresz said the Cox Plate was a likely target next year.
Stablemate Wolf Moon who won his only start as a two-year-old is close to resuming from a spell.