I thought the general HF community might enjoy this story.
A little background: When my husband and I bought a rural property in 2010, we adopted three retired harness racing horses off my then 72yo father to try to make things a little easier on him, and because I like horses. He still had ten horses then, most of them retirees.
What did he do? Went and bought three new horses, of course.
has recently written a lovely little piece on this phenomenon, which all of you need to read, but I warn you: Don't try to drink coffee or anything else while reading this, or you might end up with aspiration pneumonia. OK? Here's the link: https://www.horseforum.com/new-horse...post1970707213
Anyhow, Baralu was bought as a yearling back then - also a young filly, and a project mare who was having difficulties elsewhere. The other two were raced, with mixed success (a few wins and placings and a few disasters, which is how racing goes). Baralu was very fine-boned and was allowed to mature before getting serious about trials and racing. This was him rising four:
I really liked the look of this one: He reminds me of an Andalusian in his bearing, plus face, mane and tail. You don't see it on the photos particularly, but you see it when he's in motion. He's very regal and really enjoys moving.
Baralu is a rig - he has retained testicles in his body cavity - which means he is a sterile stallion. Baralu was very friendly to people, but overly playful and boisterous, and still a bit of a handful in the early stages of his education.
Here's the race: https://www-harness-org-au.akamaized...AC15041901.mp4
My father isn't driving in this race, he's 80, but he's the trainer. It's nice to know the fitness training is working out.
The situation reminds me of that joke about the Outback Horse Race, a free-for-all. Some guy turns up with an unknown, unraced 10-year-old, who wins the race by 30 metres. Afterwards they ask the trainer, "Why is he only racing now?" and he says, "I was never able to catch him!"
By the way, 1:56:1 for the mile is the fastest any of my father's horses ever ran for a race win. Romeo could do it at home in training, but unfortunately there weren't as many mile races back then to enter into, and he drew back draws for the few he entered, which makes it much harder when your horse insists he's going to lead from the go-get - the horse then has to put in too much running at the start to make it to the finish.
Chip, his multiple metropolitan winner and overall stable star, ran 1:58:5 as his record in 1997 - of course, this was 20 years ago, and tracks were slower.
Classic Juliet, the best race mare he had, won first-up as well, and her fastest win was 1:58:5, in 1993.
Classic Julian, her only foal, ran 1:59:4 as his best winning time. His first win was his second race, back in 2006.
Le Chasseur ran 2:00:6 for his fastest win, in 1998.
There's a string of others, and if you want to know more about them, I have a journal. But, be warned, it's like picking up a huge tome - if you're already spending too much time online, better stay away!
1:56:1 is a remarkable time for a C0 classification race. You can win metropolitan races with that time. The track record at Pinjarra is 1:53:0, run by big-timers with over $500K in stake earnings. Baralu ran the fastest race of the meeting, and it's not often a C0 race (maiden open race) ends up with that distinction. There's metropolitan class horses racing in these meetings too.
It's very nice that someone who was obsessed with horses from midlife (to the point of monomania, which was lamentable and excruciating) has had his best ever time at this stage of the game.