Posted On: Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Sir Patrick Hogan has given his star racemare Abidewithme the highest accolade in the wake of her final race at Te Rapa on Saturday, describing her as "the perfect racehorse".
A winner of nine of her 37 starts, Redoute's Choice mare Abidewithme finished her career with a desperately unlucky fourth in the Gr.1 $400,000 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m), a bump soon after entering the straight costing her a conservative length. She was beaten three-quarters of a length by Volkstok'n'barrell, by boom Cambridge Stud sire Tavistock.
Sir Patrick, who bred and raced Abidewithme with his wife Justine, Lady Hogan, was philosophical about the defeat, preferring to celebrate her remarkable racing career.
She raced 18 times at Group One level, placing in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha in 2015 and 2016, when beaten a neck by Perfect Fit, and in last month's Thorndon Mile at Trentham.
She was twice a Group Two winner, claiming the Tauranga Stakes (2000m) and the Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.
Earlier in her career, she won the Listed Ray Coupland Stakes (1400m) at Ashburton and the Listed Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham.
"Yes, Abidewithme was very unlucky and we would have loved for her to have gone out with a Group One win," Sir Patrick said.
"She's been a terrific mare for Justine and myself. She's given us plenty of thrills and while she couldn't quite clinch that Group One win, she proved she was Group One quality and she'll be a valuable addition to our broodmare band."
Pressed for further comment, Sir Patrick put pen to paper and wrote: "What can I say about Abidewithme? Certainly she's the easiest racehorse I have had the pleasure of being associated with.
"Her attributes are many - she's a trainer's dream and she's never had a setback of any kind. Now a seven-year-old, Abidewithme has never had an issue - no unsoundness and she has lined up for every start she was accepted for. I was never disappointed by any of her races. Each and every time she lined up, she always gave her very best.
"She was unlucky to have missed out on a Group One win but for Justine and I, she was top-class and a true Group One mare in our eyes. She finished her career in fine fashion with a fourth placing in the prestigious Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes.
"Amazingly, she had only one service to Tavistock to produce a positive pregnancy test and chose the very right day to come into season, meaning she was eligible to race in the Herbie Dyke Stakes on the 120th day of her pregnancy, the very last day that she was allowed to race under the rules of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing. She was the perfect racehorse with the perfect temperament and what an athlete."
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