Utmost Delight retired

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Brilliant race mare Utmost Delight has been forced in to early retirement after suffering an injury.

It happened in her first start for new trainer Jess Tubbs, in last Sunday’s Maryborough Cup across in Australia.

“It was a below-par performance and she was found to have injured herself during the running of the race,” said Paul Kenny, spokesman for the mare’s owner, Charles Roberts.

“That’s ended her career, unfortunately.

“She has torn tendons somewhere high up in the pelvic region.

“The vets say this injury only happens to the best horses because they run through the pain and make it worse.”

Utmost Delight, who was trained for all bar that final start by Steven Reid, retired with two Group 1 wins and over $250,000 on her career card.

As a three-year-old, she gave a hint of what was to come when placing behind Spanish Armada in the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks.

Last season, at four, she took out one of the country’s only two open mares Group 1s, the $100,000 New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Stakes, at Addington.

She rounded out that campaign with a dominant win against her own age and sex in the $150,000 4YO Diamond at the Cambridge Harness Jewels.

“Those two Group 1 wins, they were fantastic. They really, really were,” said Kenny.

“We got such a kick out the Jewels win, mainly for Steven.

“It was a huge thing for him and he did such a good job with her.

“We’re very sorry for Steven, because he had high hopes for her next season.”

Kenny was philosophical about having to retire the five-year-old Bettor’s Delight mare when she was in her prime.

“It’s a shame, but hey, we’ve still got a horse and she’s well-performed, and well-credentialed, that we’re looking forward to her broodmare career.”

No decision has been made yet as to her first suitor, but the two at the head of the list will be Sweet Lou and Downbytheseaside at Roberts’ Woodlands Stud.

“We’ve kicked a few ideas around but most likely we will make the decision nearer to the stud season.”

Utmost Delight will stay in Australia to recover before flying home.

“She can’t fly home for a while yet due to the nature of her injuries.”

For Roberts and Paul and Mary Kenny, Utmost Delight is the third Group 1 performing mare to go to the broodmare paddock this season after Dream About Me and Delight In Me.

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