Day At The Track

Self Assured could make history

08:50 AM 06 Nov 2019 NZDT
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Self Assured
Self Assured
Dan Costello photo

When and if Self Assured lines up in the NZ Free for All on Show day at Addington it will be either his 10th or 11th start, probably the 10th. If he wins, history will be made.

No horse has ever won the NZ Free for All with so few starts going back to the first edition in 1914.

He will not be the first four year old to win the race of course. By a long shot.

All Stars have already posted wins at 4 by Ultimate Machete, Lazarus, Auckland Reactor, Young Rufus and Il Vicolo on their own. It was Ultimate Machete’s first try in open company a singular achievement at such a young age.

A decade before Lordship, underlining what a great horse he was, added the Free for All to his NZ Cup win at 4 in an era of pacing giants beating the mighty Cardigan Bay in the process. His was one of the most popular wins in the history of Addington for the little black who was one of the most stylish and courageous horses ever seen on the track given his bouts of injury and the long marks he had to run from.

Walk into some liquor locations on a Saturday even now and someone will tell you Lordship was the greatest of all.

Self Assured may yet show he is in that class.

Think of it for a moment.

He had not raced until May. He has never been further back than third in a race even though thrown in the deep end having to compete against the best open horses around after his three year old Queensland campaign when unbeaten.

All of the other four year olds to have won this race had a lot more experience.

But there is one exception even though it was outside of the NZ Free for All.

Self Assured’s grandad, Christian Cullen, put up one of the most astonishing performances of modern times winning a $100,000 Free for All at the Addington Cup meeting-as a three year old!

It wasn’t the official free for all but a brave promotion at the time by the Met (who said clubs can’t be innovative given the chance ?) to lift the final night of the meeting, a G1 event over 1950m-the first time the distance had been tried- with bonus payments for pacesetters.

The race was full of talent. Anvil’s Star was second, Brabham third andrise Master Musician further back.

While Lordship won a free for all as a three year old it was in the autumn. No horse of that age ever looked like winning an all aged free for all in November. To be truthful none had ever tried

Christian Cullen did. A week after he won the Sires Stakes final

So perhaps no surprise his grandson who will have had fewer starts by FFA day could add another record.

It was Christian Cullen’s 12th start the night he made history. Self Assured can top that in one respect if he can win on Show Day

More of the same only better could be coming up!


Courtesy of All Stars Racing Stables

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