Flightline's massive lightning bolt scar and the horrific incident that caused it | The Sun

EVERY horse Flightline has ever run against has had a good view of his hind quarters.

But punters may have missed the absolutely massive lightning bolt-style scar next to his tail which tells the story of a terrifying incident early in his career.

Flightline confirmed himself the world's greatest racehorse with an amazing Breeders' Cup Classic win on Saturday night.

The John Sadler trained-superstar has since been retired with connections set to bank more than £30million a year from his career at stud.

Yet despite his unmatched brilliance on the racecourse, he is exceptionally accident-prone off it.

The gigantic scar is evidence of that and actually was one of the reasons he didn't race as a two-year-old.

Normally top class flat horses race at two, go for the Classics at three and often retire by four.

Flightline didn't run for the first time until he was three after a very nasty incident in his stable.

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Heading out to work one morning, the future world-beater was startled by something and reared wildly.

His hind quarters smashed into the stall latch and left a huge gaping wound which needed immediate treatment.

Sadler said: "He has a significant scar on his right hip near his tail.

"He caught his back end on a door latch down in Ocala, Florida, US, and it was quite a deep wound.

"That was part of the reason he didn’t run at two."

The cut took three months to heal and led to another war wound the horse carries with him – white spots on his neck.

David Ingordo of Lane's End, the yard where Flightline will stand, explained how they came about.

He told Bloodhorse: "The white hairs are from where he had a port placed to get antibiotics in (after the stall latch incident).

"I unfortunately was there that day, coincidentally. He was getting ready to go out and breeze and he was getting tacked up.

"Something startled him and he just went right back and hit the stall latch.

"And the way he did it —the force he did it with — was not pretty.

"He went to the clinic and we put him back together and sewed him up. It took about 90 days to heal."

A cracked hoof and strained leg delayed Flightline's career further.

He's more than made up for it though – and at least Sadler and connections can look back and laugh at those scary times now.

The trainer, who admitted he didn't sleep for two weeks prior to Flightline's final run, quipped: "I like to say he only loses to inanimate objects – a door latch and a wall."


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