End of the road for the "Master"

One of the true greats of New Zealand harness racing in Master Musician has passed away at the ripe old age of 27. Always his former trainer Robert Dunn's favourite topic of coversation, "Master" as he was affectionately known raced for eight seasons winning $1,926,810 in prize-winnings.  From his 109 lifetime starts he recorded 34 wins, 23 seconds and 14 thirds. Quite astonishing statistics.

Asked to label one of those wins that stood out over the others, Robert said that "he couldn't". "There were too many!" Pressed further he said that, "it would probably be the 1992 Auckland Cup," a race that he beat home another top horse of that time in Christopher Vance.

Following his race career, Master Musician has been well looked after by any number of people, starting with vet Dave Senior. He then spent many years with Warwick Sparks. Robert recalled that Master had a paddock in front of Warwick's bedroom and every morning when he opened the blinds, he would be waiting there to see him. He was great with all the foals and weanlings.

"Whenever their was a storm or the weather turned real nasty they would all run to Master," reflected Robert.

In more recent times, Master has enjoyed his time living at the property of Nigel Armstrong. "It was just easier to work in with Paul Howlett who did his feet and Gerard Tracey who looked after his teeth. He was well looked after there too, sharing his paddock with a couple of Georgie's (Bolton) ponies."

"Just before winter, we were quite worried bout him, but he came right and was looking great. Then we got the call yesterday from Dave Senior saying that things weren't good and that it was the end of the road for the old boy."

"He had always had a heart murmur and with a bit of colic that he copped this time, that proved his final undoing."

"He's always been well looked after and well loved and I guess thats been the key to his longevity."

As Dexter recalls, "he was a horse that always craved company. He just hated being on his own. It did his head in. It didn't matter how moody the company with him was, he just needed to be around other horses."

There is no doubt that Master Musician will long be remembered for a career that stood the test of time. Now gone, but never forgotten. Rest in peace old fella.      


Master Musician wins the 1991 New Zealand Derby beating Sogo 

Article by Mike Drury 

Posted: Fri 03 Oct 2014