WELL known gelding Restless (Thunder Gulch – Let’s Hurry) – bred by the late Major James Mitchell from his private broodmare band at Yarraman Park and sold as a $150,000 Easter yearling, has retired on a high note after an astonishing 48 race starts and 33 eventing starts.
Bronwyn Farr writes – And the sprightly 20-year-old will retire in fine style at Yarraman Park, having this year won the NSW Eventing State Pre Novice Championships ridden by Major Mitchell’s grand-daughter Willa, who campaigned him successfully over nine outings. He also won the NSW State Pre Novice championships in 2009 with owner Victoria Farr aboard.
Willa herself made the choice to retire Restless midway through cross country at an event at Tamworth because he just “didn’t feel right” on the hard ground and he has retired sound – albeit “scratchy” and in magnificent condition.
Raced by Gai Waterhouse and Yvonne Smith, the stakes-winner won 10 times before finding his way to Victoria (the daughter of former thoroughbred journalist Bronwyn Farr) at Scone. She took him to two star level and finished 7th at the Goulburn State Championships, campaigning him from 2009 to 2014.
“He is an incredible horse who has touched so many people, and I can’t thank Willa, Georgie and Harry Mitchell for the care and love they have shown him and for always putting his best interests first – he will now live out his days happily in an incredible place, where he was born and bred,” Victoria said.
“Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, young man, gallop around and keep everyone on their toes.”
“He has not only taught me so much and inspired me to do many of the things I have done in life, but he has inspired Willa in similar ways,” she said.
“I am incredibly thankful to Gai Waterhouse for sending him to me when I was eight years old after his last start racing, because I cannot imagine how my life would be without this wonderful, quirk, beautiful horse.
“And it’s great that Nikki and Blair Richardson coached us on him through his entire career.”
Restless, who won $578,305 on the track, is out of multiple stakes winner Let’s Hurry (Vite Cheval), the dam of seven winners including Belle Amici (Catbird), herself the dam of winners Camarada, and Alien, in Malaysia.
Belle Amica is also the dam of Invincible Amici, trained by Darren Weir.
Assistant Olympic eventing team coach Sam Lyle was among those to coach both Victoria and Willa on the idiosyncratic horse and said thoroughbreds could be outstanding eventers because they had “the temperament to try.”
“He was a lovely horse, he gave his best every time and to get to two star then go on with Willa is pretty amazing. He was very genuine,” he said.
Of 3175 horses qualified for Eventing across Australia, in Pre Novice and above, 1,450 are thoroughbreds – almost 50 per cent, according to Eventing NSW.
Footnote: In the world of racing, the names of racehorses become available again after a period of 20 years and the new Restless had his first start earlier this week finishing third at Newcastle on debut for the Paul Perry stable.
The three year-old son of Dream Ahead (USA) will be doing well if he can be half the horse that is his namesake!