The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Les Bridge’s popular mare Hot Danish has passed away after failing to recover from a severe leg infection that saw her retired from racing earlier this season.
The star seven-year-old daughter of Nothin’ Leica Dane was ruled out of racing for the remainder of the year and eventually retired after suffering a cut to her hind leg after a winning barrier trial in mid-March.
Hot Danish was sent to the Randwick Equine Centre for treatment to the injured tendon sheath that became infected.
She underwent surgery on the infected abscess and at that stage local Randwick-based trainer Les Bridge was confident she would recover enough to move onto a career as a broodmare.
Plans were for the pin-up Sydney sprinter to be sold at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale in June.
Hot Danish was owned by a syndicate managed by part-owner Tony Curtis.
“She (Hot Danish) has been an absolute marvel for us to own and has been a part of our lives for six years now,” Curtis said after the announcement Hot Danish would be sold at auction.
“We will be looking forward to following her progeny when they hit the track.”
It was not to be, however, with connections having to make the devastating decision to euthanase Hot Danish following advice from vets on Sunday.
Over her illustrious career on the track Hot Danish, purchased for a modest $32,000 at the Scone Yearling Sale, started 31 times for 16 wins and nine minor placings.
Earning over $2.3 million in total prize money, Hot Danish’s career highlights included her back-to-back Group 1 victories in the winter of 2010.
Having taken out the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill in March last year and then come a close second behind Melito in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April, Hot Danish then won the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) before travelling to Brisbane and taking out the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at her next start.
This season Hot Danish looked to be in excellent form yet again.
She finished less than a length away third first-up to Centennial Park in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on February 5 before finished second, again to Melito, in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) on February 19 in what turned out to be her swansong race.
There is little doubt she will be sadly missed both on the track and in the hearts of her connections.
Hot Danish’s regular jockey Tim Clark, who rode her to 14 of her 16 career wins, enjoyed dual Group 1 victories at Randwick over the weekend, which he dedicated to his favourite ride and headline horse prior to her death.
Clark won the $2 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) aboard the Joseph Pride-trained Sacred Choice before riding Atomic Force to victory in the $350,000 Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m).
After hearing the news of Hot Danish’s passing Clark was understandably upset, as is the rest of the racing world.
“It was a great day but this has brought me back down to earth,” Clark said on Sunday.
“I was still buzzing from yesterday.
“It is pretty shattering.”
Hot Danish was a champion mare and a genuine racehorse that will be impossible to replace.
“Her real will to win, she was tough, she tried her hardest all the time, she wanted to win,” Clark said.
“She helped me no end, kick-started my career at the higher level.
“She was there, preparation after preparation, winning good races for me.
“She kept my name up in the limelight and I’ll be forever grateful for that.”
As for the remainder of the industry, they will be forever grateful to have enjoyed watching Hot Danish run and win.
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