Art Union should not be lining up for career start number two in the Resource Recycling Technologies NZ $8,000 Pace for 2-year-olds at Addington Raceway on Saturday.
In fact he should have been retired long before his racing career started.
Trainer Cran Dalgety said the well-bred Art Major colt could easily have been wandering around in a paddock now retired from what he termed a “one in a million” injury.
“He could have been racing for us three months ago, but we lost valuable ground with him. If you raced a thousand times you wouldn’t see what happened to the poor buggar in a trial at Ashburton back in December.
“He was in the one-one and the parked horse came back on him and he got his foot stuck up in the cart and fractured his hock,” Dalgety said.
Vets then told the West Melton horseman there was little or no chance of Art Union ever racing again. They did toy with operating and putting a screw in his leg but Dalgety opted against it.
“I told the vets if he was out in the wild he wouldn’t be able to get operated on, so we just swum him. It’s a bit of a miracle but time, swimming, and Mother Nature have cured it,” Dalgety said.
“Well fingers crossed it’s cured. He’s shown no signs of distress and has bounced back well from his win the other night,” he added.
Art Union won his Motukarara Workout on April 5 and then his Rangiora Trial two days later before making a winning debut at Addington Raceway last Friday (April 11).
The brown colt was backed into a $3.20 favourite and never looked like losing the $8,000 Spectators Bar & Bistro Open ‘Til Late Mobile Pace. He won the 1950m mobile by 1-1/4 lengths in 2:24.2. Mile rate: 1:58.9. last 800m: 57.2. Last 400m: 27.4.
Art Union was eased back early, improved to be parked at the 900m and then drew clear inside the closing 100m proving too strong for Dana Duke (Gavin Smith) and Abbey Cullen (Stephen McNally).
“His dam Sparks A Flyin (21 wins and $627,218) was a very good horse winning several big races here and was a New South Wales Oaks winner. She also went 1:51 in America. She was also 3yo Filly-Of-The-Year and just keeps popping them out for the Wakefields (owners and breeders),” Dalgety said.
Art Union is a half-brother to earlier classy performers, Diomedes (1:57.5), Empyrean (1:56.2), Bettor’s Fire (1:57.4) and Safedra (1:56.3).
Last Friday he became the fifth sub 2:00 winner from Sparks A Flyin (1:52).
Dalgety said he would race him in the Sires Stakes heat at Addington after this weekend’s mission, and if he still didn’t have enough money in the bank he could possibly head north to qualify for the 2yo Emerald Final at the Harness Jewels meeting at Cambridge Raceway on May 31.
“He’d be right up there with some of the best colts I’ve trained. He has really bulked up since coming back from his injury. He now looks like a 3-year-old.
“He’s a tall and long legged creature. Almost thoroughbred like. He’s certainly no flash in the pan,” Dalgety said.
By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of HRNZ)