Horse Of The Month

Horse Of The Month Best Horse Of The Month

It is exciting to bring to you our Horse of the Month. This page will be a chance to celebrate the horse that is making every post a winner and getting the heart racing for punters at the track and at home.

In most cases, our selected horse will be a local Aussie horse, but we will not be strictly limited to that basis and on rare occasions an international horse may force our hand due to exceptional performances on the race track. The criterion for selection is, quite simply, race winning performances that stand out from the pack.

Rekindling - Horse Of The Month June 2018

Our June 2018 Horse of the Month accolade goes to Rekindling.

As was the case with our June Jockey of the Month, we relied on season-long figures.

Rekindling sits atop the list of prize money earners for the season at Victorian metro venues. She has won $3.85 million to outshine Winx (to be fair, Winx runs mainly in NSW) and Boom Time.

Rekindling Horse Of The Month June 2018

The four-year-old bay by High Chaparral from Sitara has had four wins and two placings from a 10-start career that has earned him above $4 million.

The 3.85 million for the year?

Well, that came from winning the Melbourne Cup last spring as a three-year-old. At least, that win accounted for $3.6 million.

Having one of the foreign raiders win the Melbourne Cup is beginning to be commonplace, but foreign extraction does not mean anything to the horse, so it means nothing to us.

Rekindling’s lines are exclusively from Northern Hemisphere horses. High Chaparral was from Ireland and Sitara was from Great Britain. High Chaparral was a top performer in his brief career. He won 10 and placed three times for his 13 starts. The dam, Sitara, raced only eight times for one win and two placings.

Earlier, the lines of Rekindling are impressive. Three generations back, Canada’s Northern Dancer, a winner of 14 from 18 starts, upset the cart by being a top racer that succeeded in producing successful progeny. His offspring earned over $31 million.

Four generations back, names such as Nearctic, Natalma and Bold Reason make their appearances.

In the 2017 Melbourne Cup, Rekindling drew well with the fourth barrier, with Corey Brown as his rider. He started at $15, behind Johannes Vermeer ($13), Marmelo ($7), Almandin ($7), Wall Of Fire ($11) and Humidor ($11).

Rekindling wound up winning by half a length.

Other than Flemington, Rekindling does his racing at Curragh, Leopardstown, Gowran Park, Galway and Doncaster. He has won at every venue save Galway and Doncaster.

We hope to see Rekindling back come November of 2018 to defend his Melbourne Cup win. It is a difficult haul, but Almandin managed it all right in winning in 2016, but he soared to 12th in 2017 with a burden of 56.5 kg, second only to another British horse, Hartnell at 57.5 kg.

Whatever the future holds for the young stallion, we hope to see Rekindling race in Australia again. Stayers of his sort are becoming increasingly rare, as thoroughbred racing, at the behest of racing fans, is increasingly reliant on shorter races.

Congratulations to Rekindling, the June Horse of the Month.

Happy Clapper - Horse Of The Month May 2018

While we are ecstatic to report that Winx has finally made it to the top of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, her rightful spot and one she should have occupied long ago, we cannot legitimately declare her the Horse of the Month.

Unless we were to give the award to the horse that stood around the best, as she has been since winning the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick on April 14.

Happy Clapper Horse Of The Month May 2018

We would have liked to pick Trapeze Artist, but we gave him the nod just last month and like Winx, he has been standing around since winning the Group 1 Schweppes All Aged Stakes at Randwick on April 21.

Activity during the month must be abandoned as a criterion, however, as we have chosen Happy Clapper. The veteran racer, foaled in 2010, is our pick for Horse of the Month for May 2018 because he is currently tied sixth for the Longines Best Racehorse rankings, and the body of work he has supplied over the course of his career makes him truly deserving. Incidentally, he shares that six spot with Trapeze Artist.

Sired by Ireland’s Teofilo (five starts/five wins) from Australia’s Busking (16 starts one win), Happy Clapper is proof positive that great racers do not always come from great parents. Further back, there are, however, some impressive names in his lineage, including Danehill, Northern Dancer, Danzig, Nearctic and Bold Reason.

Happy Clapper has 35 starts for 11 wins and 13 placings, with career earnings of $6.3 million dollars. He has run, won and placed well in big Australian races.

In 2018, he won the Group 1s Canterbury Stakes (1300 m) and the Doncaster Handicap (1600 m), both at Randwick. He ran second in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500 m) at Rosehill.

In 2017, he took first prize in the Epsom Handicap (1600 m) and the Group 2 Tramway and Newmarket Handicap, and also produced seconds in the Group 1 George Main Stakes and the Group 1 Doncaster.

The thing we most admire about Happy Clapper is that unlike some others, his connections do not avoid races where Winx is participating. His connections have made the savvy business decision that any race big enough to attract the super mare will have plenty of prizemoney on offer for a placing. He gave her a bit of a run in the George Ryder Stakes, ultimately losing by less than a length and it might be a reasonable expectation that he will line up against her in October for the 2018 running of the Cox Plate.

Congratulations to the May 2018 Horse of the Month, Happy Clapper.

Trapeze Artist - Horse Of The Month April 2018

Selecting a horse for the Horse of the Month accolade was not so difficult.

It would have been Winx, but for the fact we gave it to her just last month and if we ever pick her again, it would have to be in October coming, when she wins her fourth consecutive Cox Plate. Also, we need to start thinking in terms of Horse of the Year, in which case, it would again be Winx for 2018 with a retroactive honour for 2017.

Trapeze Artist Horse Of The Month April 2018

It would seem obvious that she would be the clear choice as Horse of the Decade. We could even throw her name out there for Horse of the Century, but a lost can happen between late April of 2018 and April of 2100, so we will hold off for now.

Rather, we picked Trapeze Artist for the Horse of the Month for April 2018.

The three-year-old colt by Snitzel from Treppes had some good fortune in April.

Rosehill based trainer Gerald Ryan has carefully curated the workload of the youngster, with the result being two Group 1 race wins for the month.

Trapeze Artist won the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes on April 7 at Randwick, beating no less than Redzel in the process, and next up, he beat experienced sprinter Le Romain in the Group 1 ATC All Aged Stakes on April 21.

Those two wins brought in $1.92 million in prize money and showed that a horse with strong Australian bloodlines can thrive. What we found interesting about his lines is that the Australian champion Bletchingly was the grandsire of Trapeze Artist’s dam and Bletchingly appears of the sire’s side two further generations back.

For those who can recall, Bletchingly sired another famous offspring, none other than Kingston Town.

The other thing about Trapeze Artists connection to Bletchingly that we found interesting is that Bletchingly was only tried five times, a harbinger, perhaps, of the tendency for promising colts to be sent to the breeding sheds early, in the manner of Capitalist, who retired as a three-year-old.

The difference here, at least as of late April 2018, is that Trapeze Artist’s connections have decided to keep on running him, which should delight all of us who follow thoroughbred racing. If Trapeze Artist lives up to his early going, it will not be long until we are tracing the connection to Kingston Town, looking for those common lines that in this case, at least, seem to be indicative of greatness on the track.

Congratulations to Trapeze Artist, the April 2018 Horse of the Month.

Winx - Horse Of The Month March 2018

We have declared Winx to be our Horse of the Month for March 2018.

She left us no choice.

After skipping her scheduled start in late February, the Group 1 Futurity Stakes because of rider Hugh Bowman’s suspension, she returned for her autumn campaign to win the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes by seven lengths. That was a clear demonstration that she intended to pick up where she left off after she won her third consecutive Cox Plate at the end of October 2017.

She was tested a bit more in her second outing in March, but she eventually won the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes by a comfortable-no-photo-necessary 3/4ths of a length.

Winx Horse Of The Month March 2018

The most recent win boosted her prize money to over $16.5 million and it seems as though she is only improving with age.

Alongside all the ones beside her name in the record books for first place finishes, one very telling tribute to her greatness is the shrinking field of horses willing to jump against her. With the lone exception of the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick in September of 2017, the last time she was in a field of more than 10 was in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes in February of 2017.

In the Chipping Norton Stakes, she would have faced a field of six competitors but for the decision by her trainer Chris Waller to run her stablemates Libran and Who Shot Thebarman.

We could engage in fanciful speculation and say that if she were to try the Melbourne Cup, Waller would have to supply half the field if Racing Victoria insisted on having 24 run.

Records continue to fall in her wake. Records of various descriptions.

She put on a display of closing speed in the George Ryder, covering the final 600 metres in 33.62 seconds, faster than any other horse at the meeting, including the sprinters. The same can be said of her last 200, 100 and 50 metres.

She now has 24 consecutive wins and it would seem that her next race, which we assume will be the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 14 at Randwick, would see her move into a tie with Black Caviar for most consecutive wins. Winx won that race last year.

Winx won her 17th Group 1 victory, taking her ahead of the legendary American horse John Henry.

It is difficult to say with certainty how much longer she will run on. Every time she takes to the track, a new high water mark is set for one thing or another.

When she is done, all that follow after her will suffer the inevitable comparisons.

This is the third time we have named Winx our Horse of the Month and hopefully, her name will crop up at least once more before she is done.

Someday, we may have to call her broodmare of the month, but hopefully, that day is some time off.

Previous Horses of the Month