Racing: Kinane hails glorious Vintage

Vintage Crop and Mick Kinane win the 1993 Irish St Leger. Picture: Getty
Vintage Crop and Mick Kinane win the 1993 Irish St Leger. Picture: Getty
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Mick Kinane described Vintage Crop as an “iconic stayer” after the Melbourne Cup hero passed away at the age of 27.

Trained by Dermot Weld, Vintage Crop became the first horse from the northern hemisphere to win the Melbourne Cup in 1993, triumphing in the ‘race that stops a nation’ in the hands of Kinane.

Vintage Crop also won the Irish St Leger in 1993 and 1994 and the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in 1992, as well as finishing sixth in the 1993 Champion Hurdle.

Kinane said: “He was an iconic stayer and we created history, so he’ll always have a special place in my heart. He was a very tough and genuine horse and also very talented. He won the Melbourne Cup, two Irish St Legers and the Cesarewitch. We were pretty confident going into the Melbourne Cup. He’d won the Irish Leger, the rain came, we were expecting a big performance and he produced.”

Vintage Crop was retired to the Irish National Stud after finishing third in the 1995 Melbourne Cup.

The stud’s chief executive, John Osborne, said: “Vintage Crop was a true equine celebrity, a horse who pioneered the concept of truly global competition when he travelled from the Curragh to Flemington to win the Melbourne Cup, the richest race in Australia.

“The scale of that achievement is revealed by the number of great horses who have since tried and come up short.

“He was a great feature of our visitor experience here at the Irish National Stud. His story was told to hundreds of thousands, who saw him as a true warrior. He was lovingly cared for here and will be missed by us all.

“Vintage Crop had a nephrosplenic entrapment which caused him to colic yesterday. As a 27-year-old the treatment options are restricted, his response to pain control was disappointing and he was humanely put to sleep.”

Meanwhile, Chelmsford City racecourse has been approved allocation of 12 ‘start-up’ racedays for next year by the British Horseracing Authority.

The currently closed venue at Great Leighs in Essex has been purchased by a syndicate headed by Fred Done, of Betfred, and is to be renamed with a view to reopening in 2015.

Chelmsford City can then apply for further BHA controlled fixtures via the annual fixture allocation process.

After its latest meeting, the BHA board has also informed Arena Racing Company that any of Newcastle’s exiting Flat Turf meetings can be transferred to their new proposed all-weather track.

The fixtures total in 2015 is set to be similar to the 1,464 of this year.