RACING: Mister Baileys' life under threat from grass sickness

Mister Baileys, last season's 2,000 Guineas winner, has contracted a poorly-understood and potentially fatal disease which, even if he survives, may ensure that his nascent stud career is over before it has started.

The colt, who was being prepared for the forthcoming covering season at the National Stud, has been diagnosed as suffering from grass sickness, which attacks the horse's nervous system and digestive tract. "His condition is very serious," Miles Littlewort, the stud's chief executive, said." More horses die from grass sickness than survive. It is a disease we feel so helpless about, because we don't know what causes it or how to prevent it.

"We lost Moorestyle to the same illness, but while it is too early to make a prognosis in Mister Baileys' case, and his condition remains critical, we are encouraged by his initial response to treatment. If he makes a complete recovery he could return tostud duties, but it is long odds against that at the moment."

Mister Baileys did not win the Guineas by far, but he was a beautifully proportioned athlete whose balance and strength produced an unusually high cruising speed.

The most memorable example of his poise and fluid action came in defeat, when he rounded Tattenham Corner in the Derby almost eight lengths clear of the field. Mister Baileys was still cantering, too, but his stamina finally deserted him approaching the two-furlong pole and he could finish only fourth. He started favourite for his only subsequent race, the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, but was perhaps feeling the effects of his effort at Epsom and finished fifth.

Mister Baileys was owned by Paul Venner and trained by Mark Johnston, who became the first Middleham trainer for 50 years to saddle a Classic winner when the colt beat Grand Lodge by a short-head at Newmarket. The National Stud bought a half-share in theson of Robellino at the end of the Flat season, and he would have been expected to cover his first mares in about four weeks' time.

"Mister Baileys is the first 2,000 Guineas winner we have ever managed to retire to the National Stud," Littlewort said. "To be hit like this is very hard to take as 1994 was not a great year. Zoman was found to be infertile and we had slight problems with Rock City, and now 1995 has started off badly."

An appointment with a vet several years ago ended any chance of retirement to stud for Lord Relic, but Martin Pipe's chaser may at least be able to resume his racing career after making a promising recovery from a leg injury sustained on Saturday. Lord Relic's life was thought to be in danger after he fractured a pastern in the Welsh National at Newbury, but yesterday's progress report was more encouraging.

"He's had three screws inserted in his pastern," Pipe said. "We are pleased with his progress so far and will obviously be monitoring him throughout the week."

There were promising bulletins too on Willie McFarland and Michael Molloy, both of whom were taken to hospital following falls in the opener at Exeter yesterday. McFarland was aboard the 33-1 chance Crystal Cone, who fell at the first in the selling handicap and brought down Molloy's mount Mecado.

McFarland was initially thought to have suffered head and neck injuries, but a closer examination revealed no significant damage. He was to be detained overnight in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital as a precaution. The extent of Molloy's injuries was unclear, but the 7lb claimer was not believed to be seriously injured.

nThe arrival of fruit machines in betting shops may be delayed by up to 12 months, despite last week's announcement of a lifting of restrictions by the Home Secretary, Michael Howard. John White, of BACTA, the fruit-machine industry's trade association, said yesterday: "There is a consultation process that will take two months, then there will be a deregulation Bill that will have to take its place in the queue, so my money would be on January 1996."

News
peopleTop Gear presenter and all-round controversialist is at it again
Life & Style
techHow a 'grey brick' took over the world of portable gaming
Sport
Aaron Ramsey celebrates after opening the scoring in Arsenal's win over Hull `
sport
News
peopleActress speaks out against historic sexual assault claims, saying things have 'gone quite far now'

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Coren Mitchell, who is the daughter of the late broadcaster Alan Coren and is married to comedian David Mitchell, produced a hand to make poker history at the 98th EPT main event.
peopleJournalist and TV presenter becomes first ever two-time winner of the European Poker Tour
Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Life & Style
Guests enjoy food and cocktail parings by Chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr, Daniel Rose and Mindy Segal with mixologists Josh King and Alex Gara at Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series at Heaven on Seven on April 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
food + drinkSprinkle Palcohol 'on almost any dish' for 'an extra kick' firm says...
Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
tvReview: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
News
politicsLabour launches the 'completely hollow' Easter Clegg
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
sport Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Arts & Entertainment
Last, but by no means least, is Tommy Cooper and the fez. This style of hat became a permanent trademark of his act.
comedyNot Like That, Like This centres on alleged domestic abuse
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Geography Teacher

£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...

Do you want to work in Education?

£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...

Private Client Senior Manager - Sheffield

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...

Day In a Page

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players