The prognosis is that he should be able to race again but we might only get two more seasons of light racing out of him.Ken Breckon, ownerThe news has gone from bad to worse for champion trotter I Can Doosit, who will not race again this year.
The dual Interdominion champion has already missed the rich autumn carnivals in Australia, where he was set to start favourite in races worth A$675,000.
The connections of the great horse were forced to pull him out of the first of those features, the A$200,000 Glenferrie Farm Challenge in Sydney on March 3, after a nagging fetlock problem.
That saw him return home to New Zealand for surgery and owner Ken Breckon has admitted to the Herald his veterinarian did not like what he found when he operated on I Can Doosit.
"The wear and tear in his fetlock is worse than we first thought," said Breckon.
"But what is really troubling is the wear on his cartilage which is going to need to be managed when he goes back into training."
Breckon says that won't be for at least six months as I Can Doosit will spend that time recovering and then letting the area settle.
"So he won't race again until next year at the earliest," said Breckon.
"If all goes well we hope to get him back for the big races in Australia then and maybe a few back here.
"The prognosis is that he should be able to race again but we might only get two more seasons of light racing out of him." The injury is cutting short one of the great careers in New Zealand harness racing.
I Can Doosit had been demolishing stars like Stig and Vulcan for over a year before the fetlock problems presented themselves in dramatic and expensive fashion when he paced and then galloped at Cambridge on Christmas Eve.
Since then he has raced only twice more, finishing second both times even though he was unable to trot smoothly.
Had he stayed sound I Can Doosit would have almost certainly become the first $2 million trotter to have raced solely in the Southern Hemisphere.
It is the second blow for Breckon Bloodstock in as many weeks, with last season's exceptional three-year-old filly Twist N Twirl being retired yesterday after breaking down.
"It is a shame but she has done a great job and will make a beautiful broodmare," said Breckon.
Meanwhile, superstar 3-year-old pacer Ohoka Punter faces a huge task in Friday's $150,000 New Zealand Derby at Addington after drawing barrier eight.
That task has been made even harder by key rivals Border Control (1) and Bit Of A Legend (4) drawing well, although Franco Nelson will miss the race.
Visiting Australian 3-year-old trotter Blitzthemcalder and Miracle Mile-bound Christen Me are other big names on the programme.