WHEN racegoers enter the main gate at Ascot they pass the statue of Northerly who was bred by Neville and Susan Duncan from Oakland Park Stud at North Jindong.
On their website the Duncans said all breeders set out to breed sound and competitive racehorses, with the dream of maybe one day breeding a horse worthy of being called a champion.
“For Oakland Park Stud, that dream came true – we were blessed to have bred Northerly”,’’ they said.
“As history now records, Northerly, or as we affectionately call him Norton, was probably the most unlikely candidate to rise to the level he did.
“He was born without a pulse.
“His legs were not correct, and wasn’t that flash to look at.
“However, as we were to find out – he had that elusive X factor.
“That special something that only very few equine athletes throughout history have possessed.
“His story and his never give up attitude on the race track endeared him to the Australian public.
“Even to this day, he has a legion of fans around Australia.
“We owe so much to Northerly and will be forever indebted to our unlikely champion.’’
Northerly won $9,341,850 in prize money from 39 starts – he had 19 wins and seven seconds.
His wins include the MVRC Cox Plate (2001, 2002), the VRC Australian Cup (2001,2003), the MRC Caulfield Cup (2002), the MRC Underwood Stakes (2001,2002), the VATC Yalumba Stakes (2001,2002) and the WATC Railway Stakes (2000).
Named the Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year in 2003 and the Australian Middle Distance Champion in 2002 and 2003 his rating was 129.
Northerly died in 2012.