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Thoroughbred Horse Nominee: Old Comrade

Hall of Fame
Old Comrade

Old Comrade has the distinction of having met the Northerly five times and having finished level with the WA superstar at two wins apiece.

Old Comrade was a three-year-old when he first clashed with Northerly, when finishing a 2 ¾ length second to the Fred Kerlsey-trained star in the running of the 2000 Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot.

Bred by his owners Bob and Sandra Peters, Old Comrade was having his third start in a fortnight in the Railway.
Old Comrade had won the Group 1 weight-for-age Kingston Town Classic (1800m) on December 16, before buttering up into the three-year-old feature of the Lee-Steere Classic (1400m), where he was beaten Master Park.

Old Comrade returned to Ascot the following season to win the 2001 Railway Stakes at his fourth start, having kicked off his spring campaign with an unplaced run over 1500m at Moonee Valley on September 15. Northerly returned from his monumental clean sweep in the Cox Plate, Yalumba Stakes, Underwood Stakes and Feehan Stakes to run 11th in the Railway carrying topweight on 61.5kg.

Seven days later Old Comrade ran second to speedster Secret Remedy in the Group 2 wfa Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m), before a quick week back up into the Kingston Town Classic, which he won again.

Old Comrade became the third horse to win the Classic twice, after Family Of Man (won the race’s first running 1976 and again in ’78) and Summer Beau (1996-97).

The next time Old Comrade was to face off against Northerly was in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, where Northerly ran second to Barkada and Old Comrade ran sixth, on February 16, 2002.

Northerly was to beat Old Comrade by ¾ of a length at their next encounter in the Group 2 St George Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on March 2.

Old Comrade again took a tough path backing up seven days after running in the Orr Stakes in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), where he ran fifth to Sudurka, before running in the St George a week later.

Old Comrade’s most memorable win was when he pounced late to nail Northerly in the Group 1 wfa Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 11 that autumn.

It cost Northerly the middle leg of what would have been a hat trick in the Australian Cup, with wins on either side in 2001 and 2003.

Old Comrade was only to have two more starts that autumn for trainer Lindsey Smith, running eighth in the Group 3 Ajax Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill and seventh in the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.

Peters later transferred Old Comrade to Rosehill trainer Noel Lamey in the hope he could resurrect the gelding’s career, after he injured a tendon.

Unfortunately Old Comrade suffered an infection and he died in a Sydney veterinary clinic.

Old Comrade was raised at Peters’ Yalebra Stud at Keysbrook.

He was a son of Peters’ stallion Old Spice from the Ksar mare Belgravia.

Peters had brought Ksar (by Kalydon) as a to stand at stud in WA as a proven stallion in the late 1980s.

Old Comrade won four Group 1s from a short career of 22 starts.

He won his maiden over 1100m at Bunbury as a $1.65 favourite on November 15, 2000, and won the Listed Placid Ark Stakes (1200m) at his following start 10 days later.

Old Comrade claimed six wins and eight placings for earnings of $1,782,250.

He was a home-bred with the uncanny ability to rattle off quick 600m sectionals and loved racing on firm tracks.

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