THE FIRST race of the Armidale season kicked off on Saturday but for the Galletly Saddlery Maiden Handicap winner Maximoo, the day meant a great deal more.
The three-year-old had such a difficult birth at Goanna Downs Broodmare Farm in Scone that stud owner Ross Dillon believes his success story is nothing short of a miracle.
“When Maximoo left the farm after a terrible start to life I thought if he ever saw a race track it would be a wonderful day, but for the horse to win has left me speechless,” he said.
Maximoo suffered a gruelling birth after being upside down and back to front in the birth canal.
“The process required the mare to be knocked unconscious, suspended in the air to relieve the pressure, using ropes to try and pull the foal out,” Mr Dillon said.
The process took two vets more than a couple of hours. Mr Dillon said in situations like this ensuring the mare’s survival becomes the main focus.
“In this sort of situation the priority shifts to saving the mare, but at one stage it looked like we would lose both,” he said.
“The foal and the mare survived and for this horse to go on to win races means Maximoo will always have a special place in our hearts.”
Armidale’s Joe Barbato, who bred the horse, said Saturday’s win was emotional.
“It was only his third race and the first two were just teaching him to be a racehorse,” he said.
“I have won a lot of races, but this horse is such a fighter and to see him win was by far the most emotional of the wins I have had.”
Maximoo is trained by Sue Grills in Tamworth and Mr Barbato said the young horse’s future looks bright.
“We are all keeping our fingers crossed but racing horses can often be a day-to-day proposition,” he said.
Maximoo’s next race is yet to be finalised, but it may be in Armidale on August 25.
“Hopefully he wins a couple more races,” Mr Barbato said.