Woodend team rocked by loss of Say My Name
As invariably happens in a top racing stable, there are great highs, but also those gut-wrenching lows. For John Dunn who runs the Woodend Stable for father Robert, this week saw an all time low as he lost top pacer Say My Name, which broke a leg in a training accident on the beach and had to be put down.
Say My Name has always been held in the very highest regard by both John and Robert, but from his two year old days, when he mixed it with top juveniles in Hug The Wind, Follow The Stars and Alta Orlando, he always battled with injury, meaning that we only had glimpses of the ability that this horse really possessed.
As a two year old, he had the nine starts for three wins and four placings, his placings including thirds in both the Sapling Stakes at Ashburton and the Kindergarten Stakes at Wyndham. He also ran a close up second behind Alta Orlando in the Yearling Sales final at Addington, a $195,000 race. The major disappointment of that season was definitely the Harness Jewels at Cambridge, a race won by Beaudiene Boaz. After getting what seemed like the perfect drag into the race on the back of Mighty Flying Major in that race, his and favourite Follow The Stars chances were both extinguished when Mighty Flying Major went off stride inside the 600m.
Say My Name's three year old season was cut prematurely with injury as he only had the four starts for one placing. He was then away from the racetrack for 13 months before resuming in March last year at Addington. A first up win in a boys race for Matt Purvis quickly signalled that the son of Art Major was back. He followed up this win with further wins in consecutive weeks at Addington and looked every bit the horse that John had always had so much regard for. It was following these three wins that he headed north with a plan to take in the Taylor Mile, the Messenger and the Harness Jewels. However, fate intervened once more and a hock injury sustained on his way up north would mean that he ended up missing all three of his big four year old season targets too.
Say My Name was eventually seen back at the races in December, running in both the Westport and Reefton Cups over 3200m on the grass. Unfortunately his condition gave out in these races but his run at Reefton gave encouraging signs for the future.
However, on Wednesday of this week, Say My Name's short but injury interrupted career would come to an end as a training accident saw him break his leg and have to be put down. Understandably John was devastated at losing the horse.
"He was my favourite horse," said John rather glumly at Addington last night.
"What can you do though?"
"I am just gutted for Ross (owner Ross Gordon). He has taken it pretty hard too."
"I guess that it is just one of those things but never nice when it happens, especially with a horse like him."
John has never made any secret of how highly that he has rated the horse, injuries and all throughout his career.
"I've always thought that potentially he was the best horse I have ever been involved with, its just a shame that he will now never get to show that."
Looking back at the horse's career, it was probably his last ever run at Addington that defined what he could have been if everything had been fair in equal. Its a real shame that it always seems to be the best horses that battle with injuries, like this guy did throughout his racing career. Best wishes to everyone who did such a great job with the horse.
Say My Name wins his last Addington start in April last year
Posted: Sat 28 Jan 2017