The Good & Sad of Racing

Major Star winning as a free-legged pacer – Photo Sharlene Mitchell Photography

One of the many Breckon Farms bred achievers in recent times has been Major Star.

He was bred by the Ciccio Breeding Syndicate, being by Art Major out of Ciccio Star. Ciccio Star was a 1:58.4, 5-win, $102,499, Soky’s Atom mare who is the dam of 8 winners.

Major Star has been her best performer, having 9 wins, for $129,936 and a good Mile Rate of 1:56.9 in New Zealand, before being sold and exported to Australia.

He was consigned by the Ciccio Breeding Syndicate through the 2011 Australasian Classic Yearling Sale and was sold for $34,000 to the Auckland Trotting Club 2012 Syndicate.

After winning and qualifying at Pukekohe on the 13th March 2012, Major Star commenced his racing career as a 2-year-old with a win at Alexandra Park, on the 1st June that year. He was then to head across the Tasman to compete in the Vicbred Series, where he won a Heat and ran 2nd in a Semi-Final, before finishing 4th in the Final behind later to be Grand Circuit horses Gauranteed, Border Control and Lennytheshark. He then stayed on to contest the Breeders Crown, running 2nd in a Heat, 4th in a Semi-Final and 9th in the Final. He then headed home for w well-earned spell, to do some maturing as he was a big horse.

Major Star only had two starts as a 3-year-old, finishing 3rd fresh-up at Alexandra Park, before being sent out favourite for his next start at the same venue, only to be pulled up in the running suffering from a respiratory disorder that resulted in an atrial fibrillation. He underwent an operation and wasn’t to return to racing until early in his 4-year-old season, when he once again won fresh-up, also at Alexandra Park. He went on to win another four races that season, including the Wairarapa Cup, culminating in a season highlight when running a gallant and very close 2nd at the Harness Jewels, going down by the barest of margins (a nose) to Franco Nelson.

As a 5-year-old, Major Star only had 8 starts and failed to salute the Judge and returned as a 6-year-old to win two further races, one as a free-legged pacer at Alexandra Park and the other being the Palmerstonian at Manawatu Raceway. He then ran a good 2nd placing, by just a ½-head, in the North Island Country Cups Final, before disappointing in the Taranaki Cup, to then be sold and exported to Australia in May 2016.

It didn’t take Major Star long to gain his first win in Australia under his new ownership, winning at Geelong in his fourth start, then backing-up to win a Heat of the Melton Cup at his next start, before running 2nd in the Final. He then won two further races at Melton, in Victoria, the following season, before he was to move to NSW in May 2017.

Major Star pleased many people during his successful career

Racing on the big track at Menangle, just outside of Sydney, in all but one of his starts in the state, Major Star was to win a further three races, clocking his career best 1:52.3 Mile Rate in the penultimate of these wins, on the 4th July 2017. He had his final win on the 16th September, once again clocking a good mile time of 1:53.6, before he was to line-up for his last race on the 23rd September.

This was a fateful event, where when racing back in the field, another runner fell in front of him, causing him to crash to the track in dramatic fashion, resulting in a compound fracture to a hind leg and Major Star having to be humanely euthanized.

It was certainly a sad ending to a stellar career in which Major Star had a total of 82 starts, for 16 wins, 15 seconds and 10 thirds and stake earnings of $212,228.

Racing for the large Auckland Trotting Club 2012 Syndicate, Major Star certainly provided many thrills to many people and did a great job of racing very competitively throughout his career in New Zealand, as well as his brief stint in Australia for the Syndicate, before then going on to have a further 7 wins in Australia for his new owners and no doubt provide them with many thrills too. I know that even after selling the horse, many Syndicate Members avidly followed Major Star’s racing in Australia, as if they still owned the equine “star”.

Members of the Ciccio Breeding Syndicate also followed his racing closely, so it is a shame that such a crowd-pleasing athlete has had to meet such an unkind end to his career. However, Major Star will certainly be remembered fondly by many for his deeds on the racetrack.

Major Star R.I.P.

Rob Carr


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