VALIANT veterinary efforts have saved old favourite Quicken Away while ageing champion River Verdon will battle on after his last-place finish in Wednesday's Centenary Vase. The great grey Quicken Away was found distressed and rolling in his box over the New Year holiday, displaying classic signs of colic. The Irish champion, who was a huge crowd favourite, was rushed to Sha Tin by equine ambulance. 'He is still not completely out of the woods yet and we are conducting further tests on him. But he is on his feet and he is eating so those are obviously good signs,' said senior vet Keith Watkins. Beas River supremo Michael Tibbatts called in the vets immediately Quicken Away was discovered and said: 'We got him moved to Sha Tin very quickly and I am delighted that it now looks as if he is going to be all right. He's a great old favourite here and a very good equestrian horse these days.' Trainer David Hill scotched suggestions of a retirement for River Verdon and said: 'I said before the race and I repeat it that the conditions were not in his favour. 'John Marshall swore to me that one thing that totally beat him at Flemington in the Melbourne Cup was the soft ground. 'He does not like it and I thought before the race we would be in trouble because of it.' Hill sent the horse to be scoped but reports that the champion has come out of the race in great shape.