Badger Ales hero Present Man has thrived after surgery
A classic recent big-name example of a horse’s fortunes being transformed by a wind op is Present Man, winner of the valuable Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton earlier this month.
Prior to undergoing surgery, the Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old had been beaten off official marks of 116 over hurdles and 120 over fences, but his chase rating has soared to 150 after wins at Wincanton (two), Ascot (two), Doncaster and Kempton.
And while this big horse has undoubtedly taken time to mature, there is little doubt that a breathing operation has also been a significant factor behind his improvement.
Many Nicholls horses over the years have shown the benefit of wind surgery – Denman, Master Minded, Tidal Bay, Silviniaco Conti and Big Buck’s to name just five – but Nicholls doesn’t believe it is a magic cure.
He said: “Whatever we do works for us. We would probably have about 25 to 30 horses done each year. Most of the good ones have had their wind done at some stage, but it isn’t a magic cure.
“It was obvious that declaration of wind ops would come in at some stage, but I don’t have a strong opinion either way.”