American miler King Kreesa is being treated for travel sickness and the coming days will be crucial to his chances of lining up in next week's HK$20 million Longines Hong Kong Mile, let alone winning it.
The Jockey Club's head of veterinary clinical services, Dr Chris Riggs said last night that indications were positive that King Kreesa is on the mend after arriving with "mild travel sickness" on Wednesday morning, but he is not out of the woods yet.
"He had a bit of an elevated temperature and there are a couple of things that we look for in a horse's blood profile, like white cell counts and inflammatory proteins, which are indicators in this sort of situation," Riggs said.
"He was treated with antibiotics and he is responding as we would hope, but the next few days will be important, obviously."
Dr Riggs said King Kreesa was eating and drinking, and looks "cheerful and bright", all very positive signs.
"A horse suffering with travel sickness won't eat and he will be dull and depressed and King Kreesa is not displaying those signs," he said.
"We've advised that he shouldn't be doing much vigorous exercise while he is still sick, as that can make the whole situation worse, but he may be able to go out and just stretch his legs tomorrow on the track.
"The fact that he is eating and drinking makes you think that he will recover and race, but we want to keep seeing the improvement every day in his blood profile, too."
A decade ago, around 10 per cent of the visitors were scratched from the international races each year with travel sickness. That number has dropped to very few cases at all in recent seasons.
In other news, apprentice Alvin Ng Ka-chun has been stood down from Sha Tin on Sunday after a track work fall on Friday morning, while leading freelance rider Howard Cheng Yue-tin has been cleared to ride trackwork again for the first time since fracturing his left arm on June 19.