Updated: 11/14/2013 08:27 | By Agence France-Presse

Black Caviar half-brother fights for life

The half-brother of unbeaten Australian world champion sprinter Black Caviar was fighting for his life Thursday after being bitten by a spider.

Black Caviar half-brother fights for life

A member of the public reaches out to Australian thoroughbred racehorse Black Caviar during her farewell at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne on April 20, 2013

The colt, known as Jimmy, is the most expensive yearling in the Southern Hemisphere after being bought at auction this year for Aus$5 million (US$4.7 million), some Aus$2 million above estimates, to Australian bloodstock firm BC3 Thoroughbreds.

Its bloodline to Black Caviar was the selling point but his future is now in doubt.

BC3 Thoroughbreds chief executive Craig Cameron told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the next 48 hours would be critical.

"It's awful. It's not just his racing potential, he's a horse that's got a great personality, he's well-loved by his owners and everyone at the stables," Cameron said.

"Any horse in the condition he's in is shocking to see."

In a tweet Thursday, the stable said: "Jimmy developed major complications during treatment. Prognosis 50/50 but he is receiving great care, including overseas consultants."

Reports said Jimmy, born to Redoute's Choice, was bitten by a white tail spider two weeks ago and suffered a reaction to the antibiotic administered to treat it.

This caused diarrhoea, which in turn led to laminitis, which is a disease that affects the hoofs and can prove fatal.

Champion mare Black Caviar was unbeaten in all 25 races she ran before retiring in April and is widely considered the best female sprinter the world has seen.

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