News & Events

Monkey King remains retired

By Michael Guerin

Monkey King’s comeback dream is over.

And not because he wasn’t going well enough to compete in open class, but because he wasn’t going well enough to win.

And trainer Brendon Hill says that is simply not fair on the pacing legend.

Hill shocked harness racing fans when he floated the possibility of a Monkey King comeback a few weeks ago. The $3.4million earner was retired in April but had been in work as a galloping pacemaker and educator for young horses at Hill’s Canterbury property. He impressed his trainer so much his work load was upped and he was taken to the trials nine days ago and performed all right without looking like a two-time NZ Cup, Auckland Cup and Miracle Mile winner.

Then Hill worked him privately last Thursday and decided the top-end spark wasn’t there.

“He was going 3:8 (for 2400m), half in 57 sort of stuff and he would have gotten better but that is still not good enough for him,” said Hill.

“I simply didn’t want to take him back to the races and have him going around for the sake of it.

“He has been too great a horse over too long a period of time for that so I’d rather pull the pin now rather than waste any more time.

“So he can go back to what he was doing here and have an easy life.”

Monkey King has been pulled out of the fixed odds betting markets for the NZ Cup.