The racing career of Australia's iron maiden, multiple group 1 winner Gold Edition (Lion Hunter-Glimmers), is over after she resumed from a spell in the group I Lightning Stakes on 2 February at Flemington and failed to run a place.
She led them up a merry chase but was in trouble when the challengers loomed at the furlong mark and faded to finish 4th. Upon examination post race it was discovered the great mare who won 16 races and over Aus$3.1million in stakes, had suffered an injury.
"So we have pulled the pin on her racing career," said trainer Ron Maund. "She has been too good to us and she is simply not relishing running fast anymore. There is wear and tear in her legs from her 30 odd starts, so it is best she be retired now. It is sad, but she is so brave and deserves to have a rest now."
Gold Edition had not raced for four months, but punters rallied and made her a long odds-on favorite despite the calibre of opposition.
The race went to prolific group 1 winner and phenomenal first up specialist Apache Cat, who has a cult following as a result of his racetrack ability and astonishing looks. He has four white socks and a completely white head. And when he pokes it out in front he is awfully hard to beat. This was his 5th time resuming from a spell and his 4th win - but when you claim a 5 furlong group 1 race worth Aus$501,000 (U.S.$450,000), it creates some interest.
"We all know how good he is first up, but to win a race that short sets him up for yet another great campaign," enthused his young and highly gifted trainer Greg Eurell. "We have always wanted to race him overseas and will look into that now. He would be suited at Hong Kong because he can race on any surface and any direction."
Apache Cat, who is by Lion Cavern, is a monster to look at with a huge chest and powerful running action. The 4-year-old has already earned over $2.2million in stakes, and he allowed the speedsters time to duel out in front before launching his powerful finishing burst down the middle of the track to claim victory over track specialist and group II winner Swick who came from near last with a rattling run to get within a half length of the winner.
Stanzout came from midfield to just nose the injured and distressed Gold Edition out of third spot in a slick 57.26sec down the Flemington straight 5 furlongs.
Over the next two months, there are four more group I sprint races in Victoria and Apache Cat will be aimed at them all, as will 5th placegetter Miss Finland, who absolutely flew home over the last furlong in a run that suggests she may well prefer sprinting to staying. Four months ago, she was favourite to win the group 1 two mile Melbourne Cup, proving her astonsihing versatility.