By Adam Hamilton
CHAMPION pacer Lennytheshark has run his last race.
Connections made the call to bring down the curtain on his stellar career after the eight-year-old last-start third at Melton on May 26.
They in deep in negotiations with at least three major studs for Lennytheshark’s next chapter in the breeding barn.
Lennytheshark retires one of the modern greats of the sport, a winner of 39 races, including the Inter Dominion, Miracle Mile and two Victoria Cups.
And, remarkably, megastar driver Chris Alford has declared Lennytheshark the best horse he’s driven in his 35-year career … above even Golden Reign.
“He’s the best. He stands alone now,” Alford said. “I’d always had him right up there with Golden Reign, but Lenny is the best because he came back year after year and did it at the top level. Golden Reign was cut down in his prime.
“I felt an incredible bond with Lenny. He’d give his all for you. He’d try so hard.
“Look at that Miracle Mile. It’s up with the greatest wins I’ve been part of. He had Lazarus camped on his back and still held him off to win one of the world’s great sprint races.
“I remember that race so clearly. Looking around and thinking to myself ‘uh oh, Lazarus is right on my back, how the heck can I beat him now.’ But Lenny found a way, it was incredible how deep he dug that night.”
Lennytheshark started his career with John Justice and won a NSW Derby before going amiss and eventually making his comeback for David Aiken.
Aiken zoomed him through the ranks, with Alford aboard, and into open-class where he was a key player for four years and THE dominant force for at least 12-18 months.
Part-owner Martin Riseley said he, his father Kevin, and their family felt the time was right for retirement.
“He’s got absolutely nothing left to prove. He’s done it all,” Martin Riseley said.
“Dad (Kevin) and I are excited to confirm he’s been retired to stud. What a ride it’s been and we can’t wait to see what Lenny can produce as a stallion on the back of his magnificent racing career.
“We hope that everyone can experience what it’s like to own a ‘Shark.’”
“We are finalising where he will be standing at stud, so watch this space.”
THE LENNYTHESHARK FILE
8YO entire. By Four Starzzz Shark out of Botswana (by Albert Albert)
Record: 82 starts; 39 wins; 33 placings
Stakemoney: $3,007,585 (6th highest all-time in Australasia)
- 2015 Perth Inter Dominion
- 2017 Miracle Mile
- 2016 and 2017 Victoria Cups
- 2013 NSW Derby