Y is for Yulestar
The first New Zealand Cup for the new millennium and Yulestar creates history at Addington.
The win cemented Lorraine Nolan’s place in the record books as the first woman to train a New Zealand Cup winner and the big pacer did it in a new race record of 3:59.1 after starting off 10 metres.
And what a triumph it was for the largely unheralded driver Tony Shaw, who won his first and only New Zealand Cup.
A Cameleon colt, Yulestar got his name because he was born on Christmas Day.
The Nolans bought him for $9000, he went on to win 34 races and nearly $2m. The Nolans who had a farm at Hawera in Taranaki were newcomers to harness racing, though Lorraine and husband Ron had been training gallopers for 40 years.
Yulestar dominated the 2000 New Zealand Cup against a field that included Holmes DG and Kym’s Girl who would win the Cup the following year. The big pacer then went to the Interdominions in Brisbane where he dealt to the likes of Shakamaker and Courage Under Fire.
By the time the next New Zealand Cup rolled around Shaw had been replaced by Peter Jones. The combo finished third in 2001, and then seventh in 2002. But in the Free-For-All Yulestar was back to his best, winning in a world record time of 2:22.9 for the 2000 metres.
In 2003 Yulestar controversially linked up with ex-pat trainer Brett Pelling in the USA. One of the deciding factors in doing so was because Yulestar suffered from internal bleeding and that he could be treated with the drug Lasix there. It was illegal in Australia and New Zealand.
He had 13 wins from 18 starts before running his last race in 2006. He returned to Hawera and died in 2019 aged 25.
Shaw suffered horrific injuries in an accident at Alexandra Park in 2009 and was put in an induced coma. He has since made a remarkable recovery though his days in the sulky are long gone. He runs a transport business out of Cambridge.
As well as his stellar performances on the track Yulestar will also be remembered for lashing out at anyone who got too close, including Peter Jones himself and a television camera operator (after Cup win 2000). He was not a horse to be messed with.