Veteran Zuboyne's racing days numbered
EVERGREEN Zuboyne won’t get the chance to race into the new season, but he will be out to end an outstanding career on a high before his D-Day comes.
Zuboyne will be a casualty of a rule introduced in 2015 by racing’s powerbrokers that the compulsory retirement age for thoroughbreds will be at 13 years.
Stewards are given the power to veto any horse 12-years-old from running in a race if they are not satisfied with veterinary clearances.
The compulsory retirement age has been met with ripples of discontent from within the industry because there is no room for discretion. But there has been no formal resistance.
“He just loves being a racehorse,” trainer Neil Dellar said. “He loves going to the races and competing.
“He is the King of the stable and has never had a bandage on him, let alone an injury.
“He loves what he does, but the rules are the rules.
“It is disappointing because he is not going to know what to do with himself.
“If there were any issues with the horse we would not race him.
“We love our horses and they are all gorgeous to us.
“We have never had one as durable as him ….. he is the King of the place.”
So punters and racing fans will never see another Jorrocks, who raced in at least 95 races and won 65 times and recorded his last win at 18 years-old.
WA trainer John McNair’s Mustard, raced from 2001 until 2012, and had a cult following during his latter years in Sydney, where he raced until 14 years, will be confined to the history books.
Or will there be any more of those colourful yarns to go into turf folklore, such as Knock And See, who made his first appearance in a race at the age of 16 years in Queensland.
Knock And See, was aptly named by Anyone Home, and he made his debut in a 1200m maiden at Balnarring picnic meeting, on January 11, 2004.
His trainer and breeder Ron Mahoney said “Junior” had several setbacks and a serious injury to overcome before making his debut.
Or Sony Somers who won two races over three miles in a steeple-chase at the age of 18 years in the United Kingdom.
Zuboyne claimed his ninth career win over 1760m for WA’s newest resident jockey Skye Bogenhuber at Kalgoorlie last Sunday.
According to Dellar Zuboyne is as fit as a horse half his age and he proves that each time he goes to the track for exercise.
Zuboyne is so keen to do his work that Craig Wright must ride the gelding solo because he becomes too competitive when worked with a rival.
“There is no way he thinks he is 12 years-old,” Dellar said. “He gets on his toes and thinks he is the King of the track at trackwork.
“He is very competitive and let’s everybody know he is there.
“He has to work on his own as he works too hard, if we work him with another horse.”
Dellar bought Zuboyne for $15,000 as a tried horse from Perth trainer Bob McPherson.
The son of Planchet from the Scenic mare Swiss Lake had his first start, running fifth over 1000m at Belmont Park on August 22, in 2007.
He broke his maiden status over 1600m six starts later at Ascot on February 27, 2008.
Zuboyne has now won nine times, finished second 15 times and been placed third on 19 occasions and earned $270,190 in stakes from his 123 starts.
“He has won well over a $100,000 for us which is great a horse racing in Kalgoorlie,” Dellar said. “He has been a very honest horse …. he has finished fourth many many times in his races.
“He has formed a strong bond with my wife Karen over the past 12 months.
“Karen does everything with him and she loves him and he loves her.
“I think she would have him sleep in bed with her if she could!
“He has his own paddock where he lives, because you would go crook if you tried to box him.
“We don’t ride him much and he goes to the track once a week.”
Dellar is hoping to give Zuboyne two more starts before he faces compulsory retirement on August 1 – the thoroughbred’s official birthday.
“I guess after that we will let him down and he will have a new life as a lead pony for our other horses,” Dellar said.
Dellar has forged strong ties with another family in the progeny of the broodmare Foxaround.
Half of his stable of six is made up of Foxaround’s sons and daughters.
The Dellars’ love affair for the family began with Smart As A Fox (Blackfriars) and has stretched to One Hot Fox (Danehill Express) and now includes Foxinator (Blackfriars).
One Hot Fox was scratched when she became fractious and was injured at the barriers at Kalgoorlie on June 18.
Foxinator had his first start for Dellar on the same day, running eighth to Queenie O’Lara over 1200m.
Former leading Toowoomba jockey Bogenhuber rides One Hot Fox in Sunday’s L&T Evans Handicap (1200m) and Foxinator in the Coolgardie Day 2017 Handicap (1400m).
“I just love her stock,” Dellar said. “They are just great horses to have in the stable.
“They are all the same having this beautiful natural.”