Injury sidelines a star
By TONY WHITE
BRILLIANT sprinter Star Of Sequalo has been retired to stud.
The four-year-old mare, trained locally by John Shelton and owned by Brian and Betty Paine, suffered a recurrence of a tendon injury late last week. Following talks over the weekend, her racetrack career is over.
"She had tendon trouble for the second time and we didn't want to bust her," Shelton said yesterday. "We decided the best thing to do was pull the pin.
"She's going to be a mother (broodmare) now."
Star Of Sequalo, by Sequalo out of Pemway Star, was bred by Brian Paine and Shelton. The five-time Northern Rivers premiership winning trainer, described her as 'by far the best racehorse I've ever trained'.
The mare won eight of 11 starts, including six straight, and just shy of $300,000.
Shelton had been secretly working on a plan to have Star Of Sequalo ready for a tilt at winning this year's $125,000 Ramornie Hcp during the July Racing Carnival.
Star Of Sequalo had been sidelined since her last win over 1200m at Doomben in February last year.
"She had been in steady work and I was really warming to the Ramornie," Shelton said. "Steven Traecey said she felt brilliant in a couple of gallops, then late last week she just didn't come up well during a gallop. She just wasn't herself.
"You could see the tendon was swollen."
Shelton said a decision is yet to to be made on a future stallion for the mare.
"We are looking at some well credentialled stallions but where she goes hasn't been worked out yet," he said.
Locally-trained horses came to the fore at yesterday's Grafton TAB meeting.
Plural, prepared by former top apprentice Daniel Wheeler, made an auspicious debut for the stable by winning the Grafton Carnival-July 7-17 Maiden Plate (1100m).
The three-year-old gelding was formerly trained by John Hawkes and only recently arrived at Wheeler's Grafton stables.
Plural (Garry Baker) beat Smarty Johns and Space Academy.
Private Santiago, trained at Grafton by Chris Mason and ridden by apprentice Brett Poulos, continued the trend scoring a dashing win in the South Grafton Cup Day-July 10 Class 2 Hcp (2050m) from Mamzelle Eiffel and Sandikelly.
King Cadenza booked himself a carnival date by winning the Cup Prelude Day-July 7 Class 1 Hcp (1200m). The four-year-old gelding by American stallion End Sweep is trained by John Shelton.
King Cadenza, a $130,000 yearling, was previously trained by Gerald Ryan. Several of King Cadenza's owners previously raced Kevin Burns classy sprinter, Moss Rocket.