Turn It Up! Farewell Jackfrost

Jackfrost in action. Photo: ODT files
Jackfrost in action. Photo: ODT files
The southern racing community was dealt a heavy blow by the news brilliant hurdler Jackfrost's career is over after he injured a suspensory ligament earlier this week.

The old saying goes that really good horses are more susceptible to injuries than slow ones.

That certainly seems to be the case for Jackfrost.

It is said good horses try that 10% harder, stretch their noses out that little bit further and train that little bit harder.

All that means a greater toll on the body than that of a slower horse.

Whether that is exactly the case with Jackfrost, I do not know.

But, chances are, he fits the bill.

The horse's superb record certainly suggests he was in the bracket of horses who dig in that little bit more deeply.

It should be noted though that Jackfrost was very sound until his unfortunate injury.

Few southern horses took to jumping like Jackfrost did.

His flat career was good without being startling. The flashy grey toiled away quietly in the Central Districts, racking up five wins before his true talent was revealed.

Once Jackfrost returned to his place of birth at White Robe Lodge his true worth was revealed.

The grey burst on to the scene at the Grand National Carnival of 2017, winning his first two hurdle starts in just five days.

A year later he would return, having had just five more hurdle starts, to absolutely blitz them in the Grand National Hurdles.

If anyone was not convinced Jackfrost was the new rock star of New Zealand hurdling they would have been after they saw his Great Northern Hurdles win.

Back in the pack and seemingly no chance halfway through the race, the grey picked himself up and produced an astonishing finish to win the time-honoured feature.

The race may prove to be the champion hurdler's second-last over fences.

Vets gave the horse little chance of returning as a jumper, but it has now been revealed there is some hope for Jackfrost.

His owners, the Frosty's Shouting The Beers Syndicate, and the Anderton stable are making inquiries as to whether stem-cell therapy could help the horse's recovery.

Should the treatment go well, Jackfrost could make a miraculous return to the racetrack.

If the horse does not make it back to the track, southerners will be left thinking what could have been.

At just 9 and with a mere nine jumping starts behind him, the sky seemed the limit for Jackfrost

Few would argue he would have achieved a heck of a lot in the next three to four seasons if he stayed sound.

Among them is co-trainer, Brian Anderton.

Anderton, who knows a thing or two about producing good jumpers, said the horse had the potential to be the best hurdler he had trained.

He described the horse as a natural and brilliant jumper.

I covered Jackfrost's brilliant career from the time he first saw a hurdle until his untimely injury.

What a pleasure it was to be able to report the deeds of such a brilliant horse.

Hopefully, after his recovery, there will be more writing to be done.

Happy trails, Jack.

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