After three misses, trip to Japan is no longer Sacred
Until he does shuffle off this mortal coil, Sacred Kingdom won't get any closer to death than he did less than a week ago and now we are looking forward to his return to racing.
Had he boarded the plane to Japan, then suffered the colic attack, he would most likely have died instead of what must have seemed to come a miracle recovery a day later. Colic in all forms has a mortality rate published on some websites as around 10 per cent, but the rate for a complaint like Sacred Kingdom suffered would be most of that and considerably higher.
Perhaps the best parallel with human beings would be a severe appendicitis - untouched, it is very much life threatening.
Once the appendix is removed, the person goes back to normal - minus an appendix, which doesn't seem to do much anyway.
In the case of Sacred Kingdom, his gut was untwisted and nothing cut out - a sign that the twisted bowel was seen to quickly and before cutting off blood to other parts of the intestine, as that would then have to be removed rather than risk it becoming toxic. We understand having intestine removed is an added negative as it significantly raises the possibility of colic recurring due to the scar tissue in the bowel.
In the end, what happened with Sacred Kingdom should leave no problem that would stand in the way of recovery.
There are probably plenty of examples of which we aren't aware, but we do know one horse in Australia recently won four races straight in good-class competition in Melbourne and Adelaide after returning from a year off due to serious colic surgery.
Still, even for non-believers in voodoo and the black arts, the whole episode leaves you with a queasy feeling of deja vu.
Three times Sacred Kingdom was due to go Japan and three times he has been struck down with a problem which did not really hamper his career, only delay it so that he couldn't take part in Tokyo or Nagoya.
When he does return for next season, note to Ricky and Mr Sin: please don't even mention the Sprinters' Stakes.