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Meanwhile, in the Antipodes… | Superfectablog v3.0

Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

Raceday 360


Meanwhile, in the Antipodes…

There have been a number of reports in this hemisphere about Gallic’s victory in the Sydney Cup but few capture the true magnitude of his achievement; the seven-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding’s latest Group I victory comes after his recovery from a series of injuries that often prove career-ending (the bowed tendons) if not life-threatening (the broken pelvis). Yes, that said ‘broken pelvis.’

The gelding was not supposed to race again after fracturing a pelvis in a race at Caulfield several seasons ago. If that wasn’t enough, the stayer by New Zealand’s champion sire Zabeel has also overcome a couple of bowed tendons. “We retired him prior to his first Bendigo Cup,” Williams’s son, Nick, said yesterday. “Our vet, Luke Campbell, snuck him out to a mate up of his that had a trotting track in an attempt to rehabilitate him. “He didn’t tell us and the first we heard about it was when he said, ‘I’ve got Gallic back in the stable’.”

Lloyd Williams and his long-gone mate and billionaire Kerry Packer raced Major Drive, which knocked off the favourite Myocard to win the Sydney Cup in 1987. “It is a very special win for the whole team. He’s the favourite,” Nick Williams said of Gallic. “For him to show the fight he did over the final 50m was not only a credit to the horse but to everyone that’s been a part of this. “They tried to put him down at Caulfield when he fractured his pelvis.” Williams described the neck victory in the 3200m marathon as “very emotional“.

More, from another article:

No wonder big Melbourne owner Lloyd Williams rates Gallic his favourite horse. As a three-year-old Gallic’s career looked finished when he bowed a tendon, and in subsequent years he sustained a broken pelvis and another tendon injury. “Any one of those would normally be the end of a racing career,” said Dr Luke Campbell, one of the two vets who attend Gallic.

Williams’s son, Nick, praised the dedication and perseverance of “Team Williams” to keep Gallic on the racetrack and now have the Adelaide and Sydney Cups on his record at successive starts.

“Very few would realise how much work has gone into this horse by a lot of people, especially our two vets Dr Luke Campbell and Dr John Peatsfield,” Williams Jr said.

While Gallic’s grit and talent alone would encourage one to repeat the breeding, his sire Zabeel has other ideas:

Gesine has been a very reliable broodmare for them on their farm at Ardmore, southeast of Auckland – her 1999 foal Gallic was the first of seven consecutive years in which she produced a foal – but their first attempt to return to Zabeel was unsuccessful for unusual reasons.

“We sent her to Zabeel three times in 2005 and he would not serve her,” Kenny said.

“We always take our mares to be served and walk them into the serving ring ourselves, but after watching him refuse to serve her it became very frustrating. For once we left her at Cambridge Stud to see if Patrick Hogan and his team could have any more luck but Zabeel he still wouldn’t serve her and we didn’t get her to another sire that year.

They finally gave up on Zabeel himself and Gesine is in foal to Don Eduardo, an Australian Derby-winning son of Zabeel.

Zabeel’s impact on Southern Hemisphere racing is hard to overstate. yet he stands for the equivalent of about US$75,000 — can you imagine Storm Cat or Dynaformer agreeing to such a comparatively low fee? And beyond his fantastic record of siring stakes winners, he’s also got a pure-white filly to his credit. (The only other NZ-registered white thoroughbred is by a son of Zabeel – so there’s something interesting going on there genetically). It seems worries last year about his fertility were premature, although it’s interesting to note he’s restricted to 110 mares this year — that seems sensible.

Anyone want to plan a racing tour of Australia and New Zealand?

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