07/15/2010 11:00PM

Overdose returning to races in Slovakia


Overdose, the uncannily speedy sprinter who has been plagued with foot problems since winning the voided running of the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp in 2008, makes his much anticipated return to the races at Bratislava Racecourse in Slovakia on Sunday. The occasion is a five-furlong listed race worth $12,900 called the Cena Mysa, in which he will be ridden by Gary Hind, an Englishman who is now based in the Czech Republic.

Overdose has not been seen on a racetrack since winning a five-furlong event at Kincsem Park in Budapest by eight easy lengths on April 19 of last year. That was the 12th victory without a defeat for Overdose, a British-bred son of Starborough, who then went on a gypsy-like tour of France, England, and Germany in search of relief from his chronic foot problems.

Dubbed the Budapest Bullet by his adoring Hungarian fans, Overdose had been primed for a 2009 campaign in the leading British and French sprints, but the best veterinarians and farriers in Europe could not solve his foot problems. Even on Sunday, his Slovak-based Hungarian owner, Zoltan Mikoczy, will be hoping for some give in the ground when his 5-year-old faces ten rivals, among them some of the best in-form sprinters in central Europe.

Overdose created an international sensation when he cruised to an apparent four-length victory in the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye two years ago. The race, however, was voided as one of the gates had failed to open. His connections declined to participate in the do-over, which went to that year's European sprint champion Marchand d'Or.