Belated debut - Sweet 16 and never been raced
c/ Herald Sun
WHICH horse in Australia would have been the most discussed and raised the most eyebrows in the past few days?
One of the Magic Millions winners, perhaps? Or Reset? Or St Elmo's Fire?
Well, maybe, but probably not.
The nod would go to Knock And See, a 16-year-old entire who, yesterday, made his racetrack debut in a 1200m maiden at the Balnarring picnic fixture.
That's right! Sixteen!
It didn't win, mind you. In fact, Knock And See ran last.
But he didn't collapse, either, and his recovery rate after the event would have pleased most health-check doctors around the straight.
Knock And See was a touch reluctant to enter the starting stalls and didn't jump all that briskly.
But part-owner and trainer Ron Mahoney had a quick explanation for that.
"Well, he'll be much better for the experience, of course," Mahoney noted.
"You should remember that although he might be old, he is a baby in his mind."
Mahoney, in fact, was pleased with the horse's overdue first run, endured a lengthy "grilling" from the stewards, agreed to the presentation of another barrier certificate and said he would proceed with the horse's long-awaited racing career.
Mahoney bred this amazing 16-year-old and, according to the many relations who were at the track yesterday, was determined to get the horse to the racetrack.
"He's quite stubborn," his granddaughter Jane understated.
Mahoney admitted last week that the horse had suffered several setbacks along the way and, at times, he had lost track of just how old he was getting.
But there had been only one serious injury and Mahoney was confident the horse would eventually get to race.
"And despite the fact he ran last, I was quite pleased with the effort. He will be better when he can get over longer distances," he said.
"As for the stewards' grilling, I can cope with that. I'm 76," he said with a grin.
So it's quite likely that Knock And See, who carries the quaint stable nickname "Junior", will be seen racing again before the end of the summer.
And for whoever named this lightly raced veteran, it was fitting that he eventually got to appear in a racebook. Knock And See is by Anyone Home.