Adore Me retired

By Matt Markham

The incredible career of champion mare Adore Me is over.

\Yes, you read that right - less than a week after she set harness racing alight with a blistering 1.47.7 mile at Menangle, the racing career of one our greatest pacers, if not our best ever mare, has come to an end.

The champion mare suffered a fractured sesamoid in her incredibly brave runner-up performance in Friday night’s Auckland Cup when narrowly beaten by her close-relative, Christen Me.

Not all appeared well following the race after the daughter of Bettor’s Delight faltered and galloped for a few strides at the 400 metre mark before picking herself back up to go down fighting by a nose.

Scans on Saturday morning confirmed the worst for connections of the defending New Zealand Trotting Cup winner and co-owner Paul Kenny took to social media outlet, Twitter, to announce her retirement on Sunday.

“Adore Me retired after bravest Auckland Cup run ever, during which she fractured a sesamoid. Deepest gratitude to All Stars for everything,’’ he said.

Kenny shares in the ownership of Adore Me with his wife, Mary and her father Charlie Roberts.

The decision to retire the mare is said to have been a relatively straight forward one considering the length of time it takes to overcome a sesamoid injury and also Adore Me’s commercial value as a broodmare.

Although prematurely ended, the career of Adore Me is far from unfulfilled.

She finishes with an impressive record 36 starts, 26 wins and seven placings for earnings of more than $1.4 million.

On 12 occasions she was victorious at the Group One level including the mecca of harness racing in New Zealand the New Zealand Trotting Cup last November.

In breath-taking fashion she set a new world record for the two mile distance, sitting three wide for a good part of the last lap before wearing down some very well credentialed opposition.

But the best came last week at Menangle when she smashed her rivals into the dust with a 1:47.7 one mile in the Group One Ladyship Stakes.

The performance moved her co-trainer Mark Purdon to make one of the biggest, but undeniable, statements of his career.

“I have been reluctant to call her the best horse I have trained, but after that I have to,’’ he said.

As good as she was at Menangle, Friday night’s Auckland Cup effort epitomises Adore Me – especially after what has been discovered post-race.

To falter in the way that she did before picking herself up to run a very good horse in Christen Me to such a short margin when he clearly had her beaten is something only a champion horse could do.

And Adore Me is, and was, a champion no matter what way you look at it.