A well-travelled, highly-credentialled 25-year-old icon of Victorian racing with links to both Hugh Jackman and Kylie Minogue is to be honoured by a series of races this spring.
Subzero, possibly Australia’s most famous grey horse, will lend his name to a three-race series restricted to horses the same colour as him.
The Subzero Challenge will open with a race at Caulfield on Thousand Guineas Day, followed by another at Moonee Valley on Manikato Stakes night, with the greys-only race run at Flemington on Oaks day since 1996 wrapping up the series.
For Subzero, the 1992 Melbourne Cup winner, the recognition follows his recovery in the past few weeks from a life-threatening illness.
His devoted owner Graham Salisbury, who carries a tattoo of Subzero’s name and brand on his right forearm, said he feared he would lose his old companion.
“He’s only been back on his feet for a couple of weeks. We thought we’d lose him a few times,” said Salisbury who for 15 years partnered Subzero in his role as clerk of the course at Flemington.
“But he’s got a big heart and he’s got a lot of people out there who love him.”
As well as his win in the Cup in the spring of 1992, Subzero won the South Australian Derby and Adelaide Cup the previous autumn.
In his second career as a star attraction at schools, movie sets and the Dubai World Cup he was once ridden by Jackman and taken for a stroll by Minogue.
The Subzero Challenge carries total prize money of $280,000 with a $10,000 bonus to the trainer of the horse which accumulates the most points during the series.