I Can Doosit finishes a winner in Methven trot
In a fitting farewell to one of the best in the business, I Can Doosit bowed out on his racing career this week the way everyone will remember him - a winner.
Just hours after learning their champion trotter was destined for retirement, Auckland owners Ken and Karen Breckon received a cheque for winning the E B Cochran Trotters Cup at Melton in February.
The only problem was, I Can Doosit didn't win the race. He finished second, but winner I Didn't Do It was subsequently disqualified, elevating I Can Doosit to the winner's spot in what was the last official race in his career.
So the champion bowed out the way he spent most of his 55-start career, winning.
Unsighted since his performance in Australia, I Can Doosit has spent almost all of this year on the rehabilitation line at the stable of his trainer, Mark Purdon.
The champion trotter has been under the watchful eye of his sidekick and strapper, Jeremy Markham, who has spent a good portion of every morning working on the horse in an effort to get him back to the races.
But X-rays taken of the champ's legs this week revealed the worst possible news and the decision was made to pull the pin on his career.
"The muscular trouble had flared up again and the X-rays were to decide where we go from here," Purdon said.
"Bill [vet Bill Bishop] thought the situation was serious and he wasn't really happy with continuing any treatment involving injections, so there was no other decision really," Purdon said.
"At first the prognosis was quite good, but when they went right in and checked the whole situation out it was more serious."
Very few good luck stories come from young horses putting their leg through a fence just weeks out from a yearling sale.
However, in the same manner in which he defied the odds throughout his career, I Can Doosit, even back then, bucked the trend.
The royally bred son of Muscles Yankee was in line to fetch a hefty price at the sale for his breeders, the Breckons, but fate had a different plan.
From the dismay of having to withdraw the third foal of their brilliant race mare Sheezadoosie there came something quite special. I Can Doosit wasn't just another horse with a hard luck sale story. Instead, he became a champion, and one of the best.
Initially though, while talented, I Can Doosit did not look like an all-out star. He was immature and needed to grow and did not start to look like a serious racehorse until he won at the Harness Jewels as a four-year-old.
In what was his first Group I victory, he then went on to add the last two Inter Dominion Trotting Finals, two Rowe Cups, New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All, National Trot, a Dominion Handicap.
But it was his win in the first Anzac Cup which was considered one of his greatest.
Not even a tricky barrier draw of nine could stop I Can Doosit as he crushed his opposition, which included Group I winners Stig, Sovereignty, Springbank Richard and Paramount Geegee, by a crushing eight lengths before returning seven days later to win the Rowe Cup by 6-1/4 lengths.
Both victories came during an 18-race winning streak, in which plenty of people were quick to draw comparison between I Can Doosit and the immortal Lyell Creek.
Even Lyell Creek's trainer, Tim Butt, weighed in on the debate.
"He deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Lyell I think," he said.
"At the moment he is in a league of his own.
"Both Lyell and Take A Moment were the same, they were almost unbeatable at stages in their careers and he is the same right now."
The northern hemisphere might not have got the chance to see I Can Doosit race, but Australasia won't forget the deeds of the horse known, fittingly, as a Lucky.
I CAN DOOSIT
Muscles Yankee - Sheezadoosie
Trainer: Mark Purdon (also Mark Purdon and Grant Payne)
Owners: Breckon Racing Syndicate
Starts: 55 Wins: 36 Placings: 7 Stakes: $1,445,774
Major wins: Group I: Dominion Handicap, NZ Trotting Free For All, Rowe Cup (2), NZ Trotting Championship, National Trot, Harness Jewels, Inter Dominion Trotting Grand Final (2).
Group II: Cambridge Trotters Flying Mile, Lyell Creek Stakes (3).
Group III: Canterbury Park Trotting Cup, D G Jones Memorial Banks Peninsula Cup, City Of Sails Free-For-All, 4Y0 Trotters Championship.
- © Fairfax NZ News