Sport

Stellar trotting career ends

by
December 06, 2017

Kyabram trained trotting mare Claudys Princess has been retired after ongoing health problems.

THE curtain has come down on the racing career of outstanding Kyabram trained trotting mare Claudys Princess.

Wear and tear has contributed to ongoing problems to keep the seven-year-old Bicardi Lindy mare racing and the decision was made last week to retire her to the life of a broodmare.

As co-breeder with Josh Pell and owner of Claudys Princess it has been an unbelievable ride for me personally and the other members of the Catchya Syndicate which has raced the mare throughout her career.

With not even one potential buyer when she was offered for sale as a scrawny yearling with a reserve of only $4000 at a mixed sale run by the Shepparton Harness Racing Club in 2012, Princess has done pretty well for herself.

In fact 22 wins, 14 seconds and five thirds from 52 starts and lifetime stake earnings of just more than $400,000 has her sitting in fourth place on the Australian all-time female trotters money earners list. Only household names such as Scotch Notch, Somethingaboutmaori and La Coocaracha have won more prizemoney.

Three of her five Group 1 wins were in finals of the Vicbred Super Series at the ages of two, three and four. The other other female Australian trotter to achieve this feat was the David Aikin trained super trotter Spidergirl.

Claudys Princess claimed almost every feature event for trotting fillies in her three-year-old year winning the Victoria and NSW Oaks, the Vicbred final and finishing second to her great rival Illawong Helios in the Victoria Derby.

Top reinsman Gavin Lang partnered her to 21 of her 22 wins with NSW horseman Darren Hancock in the sulky when she won the La Coocaracha trotting mares feature at Menangle in 2015 in a personal best career rate of 1.55.5. But she was credited with a 1.54.7 time when she finished second to Glenferrie Typhoon in the Maori Mile at Bendigo in early 2016.

Shepparton and Kilmore Trotters Cup triumphs and a mare Breeders Crown title are also on her impressive resume.

Nurtured by Kyabram trainer Graeme Lyon in her two-year-old year she provided Lyon with his first Group 1 winner when she won the Vicbred Super Series final in 2014.

Mick Blackmore took the reins as Claudys Princess’ trainer when she was a three-year-old and he went on to guide her to 21 wins.

Blackmore this week described Claudys Princess as a once-in-a-lifetime horse who had enabled him to compete at the elite racing level in the industry for several years.

‘‘She stood out because of her easy-going graceful action, great nature and her iron will-to-win. Not many horses could come back from a bleeding attack she suffered when a five-year-old and still be competitive at the very top level. In her very last race in August this year when she was having niggling injury problems she was still gutsy enough to run second to the champion Keystone Del, a million dollar earner.

‘‘Probably her best career run ever though was in the Victoria Derby when she ran second. It’s been a privilege to train her and I just love her for the good times she has given us and the beautiful mare she is,’’ added Blackmore.

- Gus Underwood

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