TOP PACER TAKEN BY HEART ATTACK
Saturday, July 27, 2019, was the day dreams of a New Zealand Cup victory for Pat’s Delight died.
A routine training run ended in total devastation with the four-year-old entire dropping to the ground. Examinations confirmed a ruptured aorta.
“We couldn’t believe it,” said trainer, Cran Dalgety.
“He had been training enormous and we hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary. He had just finished the first of two heats.”
“He was the reason I’d jump out of bed in the morning.”
Cran and Nathan Purdon (new training partner from next week) estimate they will have to try around 1100 horses to find one of similar ability.
“It takes about four years to develop one into a Cup horse.”
A ruptured aorta is just a random thing that happens with horses.
It also happened, without any warning, to 1989 New Zealand Cup winner, Inky Lord.
That brilliant pacer collapsed at the end of the 1991 New Zealand Cup trial, for trainer, Brian Saunders, and driver, Ricky May.
Pat’s Delight was the flagship pacer at Kentuckiana Lodge, taking over from former Australasian Grand Circuit champion, Christen Me.
The Bettor’s Delight-Righteous Franco entire had been beaten a nose by Sheriff in the 2018 NZ Derby, won in a record 3:05.4 (mobile 2600m), then had reversed the roles with Sheriff in the Group One Harness Jewels 3YO Emerald at Cambridge, winning in 1:52.7 (1609m).
This season, he won the Tuapeka Cup, first-up, last October, ran second (parked) to Spankem in the Kaikoura Cup, stormed home for fourthin the NZ Free-For-All at Addington, then took on the Melbourne Inter Dominions.
He raced strongly through the series, winning a 1710m heat at Ballarat in a 1:52.2 rate then ran fifth in Tiger Tara’s Grand Final.
Pat’s Delight won the Shepparton Cup before a last start fourth in Victoria.
He’d been given a lengthy spell before resuming and being set in early winter for the New Zealand Cup.
Pat’s Delight, bred and raced by Gore owner Pat Kubala, raced only 31 times for 12 wins, four seconds and six thirds, earning $296,100.