STAR OF Universe can kick and bite but the marvellous 13-year-old can also stay and his love for racing lifted him to a mighty win against much younger horses in yesterday’s Sutton family Somerton Cup (2050m) at Gunnedah’s Riverside Racecourse.
The Gulgong gelding was having his 174th race start yesterday.
Sophie Young was having her first ride on the son of Sky Chase and celebrated her 66th win with a bold and beautiful front-running ride.
“There was no speed in the race so I went around them and led,” Young said.
“He kept finding for me.”
Her decision at around the 100m wasn’t applauded by owner-trainer Jim “Percy” Thompson but he was cheering at the finish post when Star Of Universe had completed a half length win over Key Lodge.
Quick Spur was a length and three quarters away third.
“I congratulate her for her initiative – it’s good to see a jockey ride like that,” Thompson said.
Star Of Universe is a marvel.
He’s won three races at Gunnedah, one of which club president Mal Walsh believes was a Manilla Cup.
“The Sutton family have been great supporters of this club for many years and it was great to see this marvellous old horse win this race,” Walsh said.
“It’s an unbelievable story.”
Certainly is, Thompson said.
“He just loves racing,” he said of Star Of Universe.
“When I put him out in the paddock he just stands at the gate waiting to come back in.
“He bites me regularly and can kick too.
“But he loves me and I love him.
“This is his third win here too.
“I’d like to thank the Gunnedah club. I know how hard it is to run a club and what it takes.”
Thompson is the president of the Gulgong Jockey Club as well as training two horses.