The successful harness racing career of Starryart has ended after pulling up lame from a win at Newcastle last week.
Starryart’s trainer Ty Robson made the heartbreaking announcement last night after scans revealed multiple fractures in the five-year-old filly’s knee.
It was a devastating blow for Robson’s Louth Park stables, with the 2010 Newcastle Horse of the Year his sole charge in work.
“Last Thursday was her last race,” Robson said.
“It is really unfortunate and she will be pretty hard to replace.
“But she was good to us and we had a good run with her.”
The career-ending injury comes two years after Starryart burst onto the scene with victory in the Newcastle Guineas.
This was the start of a sparkling period for Starryart and less than a month later she took out the Group 2 NSW Sires Stakes at Harold Park before finishing third in the 2011 Maitland Inter City Pace final.
This gave the Caduceus Club of Newcastle enough reason to name her as 2010 Newcastle Horse of the Year.
“She had a reputation as a good horse around here and when she was younger she flew the flag in some of the bigger races,” Robson said.
“She won a Newcastle Guineas as a three-year-old and was the only filly in the race, she beat all the boys.”
Robson said he was still scratching his head as to what went wrong with Starryart.
“Technically speaking, I’m not 100 per cent sure how it happened,” he said.
“She has two fractures in her knee as a consequence of hyper extending during the race.
“But she won well on Thursday, hit the line strong and did the last half pretty quick.
“We have watched the replay and can’t pick it up anywhere [in the race], but afterwards when we walked her out the back to hose her down we could see that she was lame.”
Starryart, placing in 41 of her 55 career starts, arrived with Robson and his father Geoff as a yearling.
She went on to win more than $108,000 in prize money since triumphing in her maiden race on February 16, 2009.
Robson picked up Starryart from the vet yesterday and will prepare her for the breeding season later this year.
The 2012 Newcastle Guineas will be held on June 1.
In other harness racing news, the Maitland district has strong representation in the two Country Series deciders being held at Menangle on Saturday night, including 2012 Inter City Pace finalist Tokyo Drift.
Newcastle International Paceway has races today and tomorrow night, which includes Elder’s horse Charli Dollar in the $15,000 Newcastle Oaks over 2550 metres.