Day At The Track

Farewell Christopher Vance

08:52 AM 14 Dec 2016 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
rsz_christopher_vance.jpg
Christopher Vance and Tony Herlihy

Former pacing hero Christopher Vance has died.

The New Zealand and Auckland Cup star as well as Miracle Mile winner passed away on Monday at Cambridge Thoroughbred Lodge, where he had spent his retirement.

A lodge representative said the 30-year-old gelding had a colic attack so was put to sleep.

“He was a wonderful old horse and everybody here loved him.”

The $1.7million earner was laid to rest next to champion galloper and best mate Rough Habit, the pair having been mates for nearly two decades.

Among those saddened by the news was former trainer Barry Purdon.

“He was real gentleman,” said Purdon.

“He has great speed and manners and was a lovely horse to do anything with.

“So I am glad he got to spend his retirement there being looked after so well.”Christopher Vance raced in a golden ear against Chokin, Golden Reign, Master Musician, Blossom Lady, The Bru Czar, Franco Ice and his own stablemate Mark Hanover.

Yet as well as the three huge Grand Circuit races he won, he also scored in a New Zealand Free-For-All, NZ Messenger and Northern Derby.

He was a potent force with Tony Herlihy in the sulky but while there NZ and Auckland Cup wins were testament to his manners and ability, it was his Miracle Mile success of 1991 that was his greatest moment.

Up against Westburn Grant looking to become the first three-time winner of the race as well as his own three-year-old stablemate Chokin, Christopher Vance was written off by Australian experts and they looked right when he was last with a lap of Harold Park to go.

But he unleashed one of the great sprints in Miracle Mile history to down Defoe, with Westburn Grant third with Chokin crashing to the track distressed.

While he was never as dominant again as during that golden summer of 1991-92, Christopher Vance raced at the highest level for another four years, adding the likes of Victor Supreme, Brabham and even Il Vicolo to his rivals.

Michael Guerin

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: