Day At The Track

Destreos retired

04:16 PM 24 Sep 2020 NZST
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Destreos,Harness racing

One of Australia’s harness racing legends Destreos has officially been retired.

Destreos has ended his career as a 16-year-old having started 486 times for what is clearly an Australasian record.

Destreos (Astreos-Melvin’s Speed) spent most of his racing life in Queensland where he became a local hero, contesting races against some of the best of an era, but none could match his durability.

Destreos never reached the heights of some of Australia’s superstars such as Blacks A Fake, Beautide, Smoken Up and Im Themightyquinn, to name a few, but he was a star in his own right.

Affectionately known as Dexter, the gelding’s most prestigious win was a Group 3 Be Good Johnny Stakes in 2012, but he placed in other Group events during his 14-year racing career.

He shared partnerships with many drivers but none more so than Queensland’s ace reinswoman Kelli Dawson who won 57 races aboard the gelding, of which 54 were at Albion Park.

Destreos arrived in Tasmania in August 2017 having already notched 96 wins and he settled into his new digs at Flowery Gully in the north of the state where Tasmanian-born trainer Ken Rattray and his life partner and Destreos’ owner Sally Stingel decided to set up shop and prepare for retirement.

Destreos attracted plenty of media attention as he edged his way closer to the ultimate milestone of 100 wins.

There wasn’t a racing media outlet in Australia and New Zealand that didn’t record Destreos’ 100th win and that eventuated in Devonport in April 2018.

“To win 100 races with the same horse is an almighty effort because it takes plenty of determination and courage to reach that mark and Destreos had those attributes and much more,” Rattray said after Destreos notched win 100.

In notching his 100th win he joined Paleface Adios and Cane Smoke as the only pacers in the Southern Hemisphere to win more than 100 races.

Cane Smoke holds the record of 120 victories while Paleface Adios won 108 times.

Destreos won again in March last year but wins eluded him until he was sent for a spell after finishing well down the track in the TTC Elite at Elwick in late February.

Destreos loved to race and keeping him sidelined in a paddock, when he was fit a healthy enough to race, was nye on impossible but no doubt he gave his first indication that his legs may have had enough and Rattray and Stingel did not hesitate in retiring their legend.

Destreos notched 101 wins and 140 minor placings from 486 starts during his 13-year racing career for $828,369 in stakes.


Peter Staples for Tasracing

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