The former Gai Waterhouse-trained glamour mare More Joyous has officially been retired and if all goes to plan the eight time Group 1 champion will be served by the world’s former top-rated racehorse Frankel in the UK.
Despite her final turf appearance being a disappointing second last behind All Too Hard in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Sydney Cup Day, April 27, the More Than Ready mare was a superstar galloper earning over $4.57 million in prize money over her 33 start career.
Controversy surrounded her All Aged performance with a very public fallout between owner John Singleton and Waterhouse playing out pre and post-race regarding allegations her trainer didn’t inform Singo about treatment More Joyous underwent that possibly affected her effort.
The stewards last week fined Singleton $15,000 for his poor conduct which bought racing into disrepute while Waterhouse was also slapped with $5,500 to pay for two separate charges including failing to keep appropriate records of More Joyous’ treatment.
What most people following that saga forgot about however was the very horse at the centre of the scandal, six-year-old More Joyous, who has now officially run her last race.
“The decision has been made on More Joyous,” Singleton’s racing manager Duncan Grimley said this week.
“She has nothing left to prove on the track. She has been a great mare for us and we don’t want to go over the top with her.”
Failing in her debut Group 1 run when 15th of 16 behind Phelan Ready in the 2009 Golden Slipper, it didn’t take More Joyous long to make a name for herself when winning her first elite level in October that year in the Flight Stakes over the Randwick mile.
Among her other more notable victories were the 2010 Toorak Handicap where she carried an impressive 58kg to victory at Caulfield, her two Queen Of The Turf Stakes victories (2011 and 2012) and of course her ‘major’ – the last year’s $2 million Doncaster Mile (1600m).
It was a tough call for Singleton and co to make the call and retire More Joyous while she was still very sound and probably capable of more success on track.
“It was always going to be a tough decision but the time is right and she retires a sound horse, which was very important to John,” Grimley said.
That call however has been made and so long as she receives her equine influenza vaccinations, supplies of which have been running low in Australia, in time she will be off to England along with Singleton’s other recently retired mare More Strawberries to be served by the British superstar Frankel.
“We are taking the opportunity to go to Frankel because John wants to bred to the best,” Grimley said.
“I’m 95 per cent she will be right to get there along with More Strawberries.
“We are fairly confident we will be taking up our bookings with Frankel.
“The plan is then to bring More Joyous and More Strawberries home around January or February so they can have their foals at Strawberry Hills Stud later next year.”
Frankel is a genuine turf great having won all 14 of his career starts, 10 of which were Group 1 victories, and if the mares, especially More Joyous, were to fall foal to one of his prodigy it would be a dream outcome according to Grimley.
“It would be ideal if both mares can produce fillies by Frankel,” he said.
“More Joyous is (especially) special to John because not only did he breed her to win eight Group 1 races and 20 stakes races, which is phenomenal, but he also raced her mother, Sunday Joy.
“We have everything else in the family and when you start breeding horses you dream of getting one as good as More Joyous.
“She has been the horse you dream about as a breeder, one that is bought up on your farm and raced at the highest level in your colours and never lets you down.”
More Joyous’ outstanding record as mentioned by Grimley makes her the third highest performing Australian racehorse the modern era trailing only the flawless Black Caviar and the mighty Sunline.
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