Oaks winner retired after breaking down


By Garrick Knight

Last season’s Group 1 Northern Oaks winner, Best Western, has been abruptly retired.

Scans taken after her disappointing run in the Group 2 mares race at Addington last Friday night revealed trainer Jeremy Young’s worst fears.

“She locked on one rein quite badly during the race and I thought she might have been feeling her legs,” he told HRNZ.

“So, we had her scanned and there was a tear in her tendon.

“Andrew (Grierson, owner) said let’s just retire her and I think that’s a great call.

“You know what it’s like with tendons; they’re never the same again.”

Best Western showed mild signs of a leg problem last season but Young had been carefully managing her ever since.

“We had a bit of a niggle with it as a three-year-old after she had an incident on the track.

“She sliced it back then and it’s always been a bit of a problem since.

“I’d been bandaging it.”

While conceding it was “gut wrenching at the time”, Young has decided to take a more positive approach to the situation.

“I still think about what he could have done, but then I remember what she has done.

“Not many thought she could win that night; she paid $38 and beat the best ones at that time.

“So, I can’t dwell on it. I’ve just got to be positive and carry on.

“I was lucky to get her in the first place; she could easily have gone to someone else.

“And I’m very thankful to Andrew for being given the opportunity to train her.”

Young purchased Best Western’s younger full brother of Grierson at last year’s Karaka yearling sale for $31,000.

Fast forward 12 months and he thinks it was a shrewd move.

“He’s tiny like her but he goes quite nice.

“That’s the future, hopefully.

“And I’ve also got On A Roll, who is doing a great job and looks like tackling some of the bigger races as the season wears on.”

Best Western comes from a good family, her granddam being former Auckland Cup winner, Kate’s First.

She, of course, is the year-older half-sister to champion sire and racehorse, Christian Cullen.

As well as her Northern Oaks win, where she defeated subsequent Filly of the Year, Belle Of Montana, Best Western also placed at Group 1 level in Australia, in August’s Australasian Breeders Crown Final.

There she ran second to New South Wales filly, No Win No Feed in the A$200,000, beating home another Kiwi star in Princess Tiffany.

Best Western retires with 3 wins, 16 placings and over $173,000 in stakes.



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