Australia’s favourite horse Apache Cat has run his last race and is to retire from racing and will most probably spend his golden years at Living Legends with other old greats of the Australian turf.
He raced last Sunday in the Hong Kong Sprint, but pulled up sore after the race. After a veterinary examination it was discovered that Apache Cat had sustained a sesamoid fracture, which thankfully is not life threatening, and will heal in time. Considering his age (rising 8 years old) his connections decided on retirement.
He goes out with 19 wins (8 at Group One level) and 11 placings from 43 starts and more than $4 million in prize money.
If you read my racing posts you will know that Apache Cat has been a great favourite of mine. I have followed him since his first race back in 2004/2005. Initially attracted by his name, I was delighted when he proceeded to win races against the stiffest competition.
His most successful year was 2008 where he won 5 Group One races in succession, equalling the record of Tulloch and winning Champion Sprinter of the year for 2007/2008.
He beat the best – Haradasun, Gold Edition, Takeover Target, to name a few top class gallopers he thrashed.
I first saw him in the flesh on Manikato Stakes Day 2006 and was able to take the picture of him above. He was stunning to look at with his glowing chestnut coat with the big white blaze on his face and matching white stockings. He didn’t win that day, being pipped at the post by Lad of the Manor after leading most of the trip.
His last win was on Cox Plate Day this year, and he received a bigger crowd ovation than the Cox Plate winner was accorded. He was truly the peoples champ over the years he raced and immensely popular with die hard racing fans and casual punters alike.
It is unfortunate that his illustrious career ended with an injury, but I will retain fond memories of the years he did grace the Australian turf. No flash in the pan racehorse, Apache Cat was around year after year and always competed in top company.
So enjoy your retirement at Living Legends, Apache Cat. You have nothing left to prove and deserve to rest on your laurels, though I’ll miss seeing your baldy face at Moonee Valley, where I was hoping to see you contest the Australia Stakes again in February.