I is for Inky Lord
Like his Sire and Grandsire before him, Inky Lord was a New Zealand Cup champion and very much an Addington crowd favourite.
He won in 1989 as a four year old in what was the first of Ricky May’s seven New Zealand Cup-winning drives. That followed Lord Module’s win for Ces Devine in 1979 ( the last of his six wins).
Both champions were sired by the great Lordship who won twice for the Nyhans (1962 and 1966). In the first of his triumphs he beat none other than the great Cardigan Bay.
And Lordship in turn was from 1954 winner Johnny Globe who went on to become the country’s leading sire four times in the 1970s.
Inky Lord was trained by Brian Saunders in Mid Canterbury, and raced by his brother Gavan. He won 21 from 50.
His triumph in the New Zealand Cup was notable from start to finish.
Because the horse had been erratic from the stand previously May used a tip from his good mate Jim Curtin and that was to get the starter’s assistant to put a few stones in Inky Lord’s mouth to distract him.
“I don’t know if you’d get away with that these days.” May said.
But it worked a treat – Inky Lord made a great start
But the concluding stages didn’t go to plan at all, with Inky Lord getting a check 450 metres from the finish. He was already 12 lengths from pacemaker Kylie’s Hero.
Ricky May would later say, “It just took me out of the race. I didn’t have a dog’s show when that happened.”
But the gaps opened and Inky Lord powered home out wide and just five metres from the finish he was home.
Favourite Luxury Liner was out of the money, Dillion Dean was second ahead of Bold Sharvid.
Dillion Dean’s driver Colin De Filippi said : “I was pretty confident I had everything covered. I had forgotten about Inky Lord, because I knew he was behind me, and I didn’t think anything would come from behind Dillion Dean and beat him.”
De Filippi would get his one and only New Zealand Cup win, at his 17th attempt, with Kym’s Girl in 2001.
As for Inky Lord there was no fairytale finish to his racing career. On November 7 he collapsed and died during the 1991 New Zealand Cup trial from a ruptured aorta.