Thursday, 5 July 2012
: Bush veteran Old Mystique has delivered Cowra trainer George Hoy countless highlights over the past five years, and on Friday afternoon he's after the crown jewel – his home-town Picnic Cup in start number 100.
| Old Mystique|
Photo by Racing and Sports
Now a rising 12-year-old, the ex-Bede Murray warrior was retired in mid-2007 and set for a new life as a hack before Hoy intervened.
The hack arrangement fell through and Hoy drove to Wollongong, picked up the horse and floated him back to Cowra. That was nine wins and $70,000 in prizemoney ago.
Five years on and Old Mystique
has carved his place as one of NSW's most successful bush horses.
He was always destined to play some sort of role on the Australian turf. After all, his older brother Rogan Josh
, did happen to win a Melbourne Cup in 1999.
And if Hoy has his way, there'll be plenty more chapters to come in the Old Mystique tale.
“I lease him now, and I don't think my lease runs out until he's about 13,” Hoy said.
“He's won four races since he's turned 11. August one, August eight at Cowra, they were two TAB meetings.
“He won the main race at Grenfell [in September] then at Boorowa.”
That Boorowa run was three starts back under jockey Ricky Blewitt who jumps back in the saddle on Friday.
The veteran gelding has struggled in his last two – on a dusty track at Young and a rain-affected surface at Parkes, but that doesn't bother Hoy.
“The thing is whether he likes the track or not - if it don't suit him he don't go,” Hoy said.
“He's a very lovely winded horse, he works 1800 [metres] down here three-quarter pace and he comes in and you wouldn't know he's been round.
“He's had three starts here for a win a second and a third. The last start he had here he won.
“[Part owner] David Parker knows horses pretty well and he said he went through the breeding of the horse and said the horses in his background have raced competitive in this sort of company until they were 12 years of age.
“I haven't had a look at the field much really. I'm just one of them fellas if I think my horse is going all right I don't worry about the others.
“If he happens to win you'll probably hear me.”