After 15 wins grand campaigner "George" retires

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Known as a war horse with a "huge desire" to win, Henry Hubert has run his last race.

Co-owners Ross and Angela Gordon have made the decision to retire the Bettor's Delight eight-year-old, after a career that included 15 wins from 84 starts and nearly $400,000 in stakes.

Right from the start Henry Hubert was trained by Diamond Racing, after Robert Dunn bought the horse for the Gordons at the 2016 Auckland Yearling Sales.

"He's a bloody good horse alright," says Ross Gordon, "he always had a huge desire to win but he's had feet problems and other niggles."

A recent trial where he wasn't at his best convinced connections to make the big call.

"To be at the top echelon everything has to spot on and after John (Dunn) took him to the trials he didn't think he'd be able to get back there."

His last race day appearance was an eighth at Addington on March 17 this year, with his last win being a very special one on January 2 in Central Otago .

He won the Omakau Cup beating Macandrew Aviator and Krug, giving regular driver John Dunn his 1500th career success.

The horse known as "George" has an impressive CV that includes victory in the 2018 Aged Classic in Kaikoura, the 2019 and 2020 Group 3 Northern Southland Cups, the 2020 Green Mile at Methven, and the Hannon Memorial in 2021.

In that Group 3 success at Oamaru Henry Hubert showed all his trademark toughness. He broke early, made a mid race move and then produced a 54.5 sec last 800m to beat Robyns Playboy by a neck, with Classie Brigade third.

He also finished sixth in the 2019 New Zealand Cup, and fourth in 2020.

"He always gave 100 per cent and he's a great natured horse too," says Gordon, "and being at the beach (Woodend) with the Dunns has had a lot to do with his longevity."

How he got his name is an interesting story.

The Gordons own Telfer Electrical which has three branches in Christchurch and seven others in the South Island, from Nelson to Invercargill, and one of their longest standing clients is Barrie Foster.

"And Barrie's dad was called Henry Hubert and the name just stuck," says Gordon.

Henry Hubert Foster, better known as Hugh, died aged 93 in 2016, a year before his namesake debuted with a second as a two-year-old at Addington in 2017.

The Gordons have raced around 30 horses over the years and they all been trained by the Dunns.

Heisenberg is another of their top-liners with nine wins from 84 starts and $263,779, Triple G has shown enormous promise with four wins from six starts, and Charlie Brown has won three races and finished fourth fresh up at Addington last Friday.

As for George's future?

Co-trainer Jenna Dunn has always had a soft spot for the horse and the Dunn's base at Woodend beach is where he'll stay in retirement.

"Jenna tells us he's going nowhere," says Ross Gordon.

Henry Hubert (Bettor's Delight - Queen Camille)

84 starts
15 wins
13 seconds
7 thirds
Lifetime stakes : $399,047

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