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At his peak he was a mighty colt the equal of any and Guaranteed’s owners are hopeful their Group 1 harness racing champ will continue to make waves in the trots in retirement. Pasco Keep, who co-owns the Emma Stewart-trained horse with Mark Thompson, said connections drew the curtain on the seven-year-old’s career after his latest disappointing attempt to return to racing. Before the 2015 A. G. Hunter Cup, which Guaranteed started a $6.80 chance amid favourites Adore Me, Christen Me and eventual winner Arden Rooney, his 37 starts had produced 24 wins including 12 triumphs at Group level. With four Group 1s to his credit – a SA Cup, Chariots Of Fire and Vicbred two and three-year-old wins – the world was at his feet, and then a suspensory injury was discovered, prompting a 19-month lay-off and a sequence of stuttering campaigns. “He struggled since he had the injury,” Mr Keep said. “We kept hoping he was going to come back, but at that age he kept getting other injuries as well. “We all decided if he wasn’t going good (last Saturday) would be the last run for him.” It’s a decision made with a heavy heart. “To win $800,000-plus was an incredible feat,” Mr Keep said. “He was a champion two-year-old and a champion three-year-old, and then won the Chariots Of Fire as a four-year-old and was flying until he broke down as a five-year-old. “The Chariots Of Fire was unbelievable. They told me you couldn’t win three-wide at Menangle, but he lobbed three-wide and won and broke the class record.” The 1:50.4 mile rate delivered Guaranteed his greatest stakes win and remains a valuable mark for a potential stud career, in addition to a family line that includes renowned sire Artsplace and dam Jadah Rose. “Artsplace is a super seller,” Mr Keep said. “He’s got the temperament, the stamina and the speed and ticks all the boxes. “If you have a hard look at it, Jadah Rose’s grand dam (Toast To Missy) is American, so these are internationally bred horses. “When he first broke down a lot of the studs were interested, but we were just trying to get him back to racing. Now the new breeding season is coming around and we will be in talks with stud masters and are hopeful he will have a stud career.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

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