Following the news that Group 1 Oakleigh Plate winner Russian Revolution has been retired to stud as a 4-year-old, we take a look at others in recent times that have had their career cut seemingly short due to one reason or another. Had the following been able to perform to their potential, the racing world may perhaps look a little different to this day, with 2 of our horses in the countdown even claiming bragging rights over Winx at one point in their career. Enjoy the nostalgia as we relive some famous victories from forgotten names in recent times.
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Honourable Mention: Our Boy Malachi
The big fella unfortunately bled from the nose a second time during the Group 1 Darley Classic in 2016. Showing no signs of stopping however, he was a winner in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint just one start prior and was a runner up to Takedown in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes during the same prep. The Rockhampton Rocket had an outstanding record of 19 wins from 27 starts, and holds records at both Mackay and Rockhampton tracks. We won a total of $946,400 in prize money.
10: Hallowed Crown
Retired to stud as a 3-year-old after winning 6 of 9 races, most notably the Group 1 Golden Rose. He won 4 in a row to begin his career with his only 3 defeats at the hands of Brazen Beau, Volkstok’n’Barrell and Kermadec. He finished up as a dual Group 1 winner as well as claiming wins in group 2 and group 3 company, contributing to $1,398,575 prize money.
9: Winning Rupert
Won 5 in a row at Sunshine Coast, Doomben and Eagle Farm to begin his career as a 3-year-old. Even more impressively, he broke the Eagle Farm 1200m and 1300m track records, scoring 6L and 3L victories respectively. The Written Tycoon horse fell short in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas as a $1.50 favourite before it was discovered he would need surgery to remove bone chips in his knees. Connections made the decision to retire the record holder to stud after it was revealed he would take longer to recover from surgery than initially thought. He record stands at 6 starts for 5 wins, earning $579,500 prize money.
Beat Tosen Stardom in his 2nd last run, but retired after just 18 starts as a 4-year-old. A dual Group 1 winner, renowned for typically strong performances over the mile, connections thought it was the right time to retire him even though he was nominated for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes just weeks later. Winning 5 races and finshing runner up in 3, Palentino made $1,305,110 prize money.
7: Shamal Wind
Another Dubawi mare, also retired as a 5-year-old. She was a 5-length winner on debut, and claimed her first Group 1 Victory in the Oakleigh Plate in 2015 where she beat Under The Louvre and Fast ’n’ Rocking, just 1 run prior to her career coming to an end. Shamal Wind under-performed in the Group 1 Kings Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing 13th of 18 after slipping in the barriers. She earned $832,975 prize money in a 25-race career, which produced 8 wins.
6: Mongolian Khan
The 2015 Caulfield Cup winner was retired after a bout of colic, never returning to full strength following his recovery. He won 6 of 7 to begin his career in New Zealand including the Group 1 New Zealand Derby. He won the Group 1 ATC Derby upon arrival in Australia, contributing to his 8 total wins from 17 career starts. He was retired as a 4-year-old after running 8th behind Lucia Valentina in Queen Elizabeth Stakes, earning $3,959,512 prize money.
5: Brazen Beau
Had just 12 starts, placing in 9 in a brief but very successful career. The I Am Invincible Colt was a close to 5-length winner on debut before winning the Group 2 Champagne Classic at Doomben and runner up in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins Stakes at Eagle Farm. Brazen Beau claimed his first group 1 win in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, beating Delectation and Kuro and then most impressively beating the Grey Flash Chautauqua in the Newmarket Handicap in 2015. The Godolphin-owned horse was impressive in his overseas endeavour to end his career, finishing runner up in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot before finshing midfield in the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket. The dual group 1 winner earned $1,622,620 in prize money.
Ongoing issues with ownership mean Group 1 winner Azkadellia is now banned from racing, after enjoying a very promising and successful 2016. Headlined by a victory in the Group 1 Coolmore Legacy Stakes, Azkadellia was also placed behind Winx and Happy Clapper in the Doncaster Mile and runner up in the Coolmore Classic. The Ciaron Maher trained mare didn’t disappoint in her latest Queensland campaign, finishing runner up in both the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 and Tattersall’s Tiara. Azkadellia has not been raced since she was a 4-year-old, and with a group 1 crown already to her name it was safe to say she was bound for more glory if her career hadn’t been cut short. She earned $1,527,208 in prize money.
One of the most impressive horses of 2015, Srikandi won 9 of 15 career starts. She had a winning streak of 5 during her campaign as a 3-year-old, broken only by a third placing in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm. Under-performed in the BTC Cup and Doomben 10,000 in 2015, Srikandi emerged as something special when winning the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap and then backing up to take out the Tattersall’s Tiara from barrier 15 at the Gold Coast. The Dubawi mare finished her career as a 4-year-old finishing runner up to Chautauqua in the Manikato Stakes and failing to perform in the Darley Classic where it was revealed she suffered a stress fracture. Srikandi had already earned $2,377,900 prize money when it was announced she would be retired.
2: Gust Of Wind
Named accordingly to her career – a gust of wind. One of a select few to beat Winx, made famous for that maiden victory at Scone where she came from an absolutely unwinnable position. The Darci Brahma mare was a group 1 winner in the ATC Oaks at Randwick, getting a start in the 2015 Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup in what would be the last time she would race at full strength, suffering heart fibrillation in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes however clearly not herself in starts beforehand. Gust of Wind won 3 races in a 14-start career, amassing $947,900 in prize money.
1: First Seal
It is widely debated if First Seal would beat Winx in her prime, with many claiming Winx wasn’t the horse she is now back then. But the statistics are there. In 6 meetings with Winx, First Seal beat her 5 times. Not to take away from the incredible feats of the wonder mare with the unbelievable winning streak, however had things panned out the way connections wanted them to for First Seal, she was inevitably bound for more group 1 glory. Ongoing hoof problems forced the Fastnet Rock mare into early retirement as a 5-year-old with 6 wins and 7 minor places from 21 starts, headlined by an outstanding year as a 3-year-old in which she won the Group 1 Flight Stakes. Winning over distances anywhere between 1100 and 1600, she cumulated $1,259,060 prize money.