• Wednesday, 16 Mar, 2022,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Melbourne Cup hero Koblenz retired

A “very, very disappointed” David Geall has paid tribute to homebred superstar Koblenz after injury forced the Melbourne Cup hero into retirement.

Koblenz, an impeccably bred son of Fernando Bale and Geall’s dual Group 1 winner Up Hill Jill, sustained a career-ending hock injury when trialling at Geelong on Saturday.

“Very, very disappointing,” Geall said.

“I was planning to have him up at Wentworth Park on Saturday night to get him ready for the Golden Easter Egg.

“At first, I thought he must have reinjured the cracked metatarsal he was coming back from, but it was the other leg. He’d only gone about 80m but kept trying to run on three legs. That’s how good a chaser he is.

“He’s just a competitive beast. He’s been trying to head to the van to go racing with a cast on his leg!”

“He broke his hock in two places and Des Fegan (veterinary surgeon) operated on Sunday morning. It seems to have gone well; he just needs to recuperate.”

Koblenz lived up to his regal bloodlines on the racetrack, with the brilliant frontrunner winning 26 of his 42 starts, highlighted by the Melbourne Cup, while he also won the G2 Cranbourne Cup, earning $792,165 in prizemoney.

Koblenz’s magnificent deeds were extra special to the Geall family, as the blueblood was bred by David and wife Rose and raced by the Geall Gals syndicate, which also includes David’s brother Jeff and his wife Marie.

“It was a great ride and winning the Melbourne Cup topped it right off, especially having the family involved, and doing it from Box 3, which wasn’t an ideal box,” Geall said.

The Geall family celebrate Koblenz’s 2021 Melbourne Cup triumph.

“It was the same when he won the Cranbourne Cup from Box 4.

“He was a joy to train because you knew that 99 per cent of the time he was going to begin.

“I don’t think we’ll ever get a dog that’s a better beginner than he was because they would have to jump 100 per cent of the time!

“He probably became a more reliable beginner than his mother (Up Hill Jill), which I didn’t think I would ever say about another dog.

“He’s been likened to Fernando Bale – and I agree – because you could just about guarantee he was going to jump quickly.”

WATCH: KOBLENZ (3) claimed a career-defining victory in the 2021 Melbourne Cup, leading all-the-way in 29.40sec.

Given his superb breeding and sensational race record, Koblenz is certain to meet with great demand from breeders as he embarks on a stud career, with limited straws taken during his recent time on the sidelines already sold out.

“I sold the last straw this morning,” Geall said.

“I will say that if you gave Koblenz a choice between being a stud dog and a race dog, he’d definitely be a race dog.

“He’s just a competitive beast. He’s been trying to head to the van to go racing with a cast on his leg!

“He’s really going to miss racing big time and that’s what hurts a lot. All he wants to do is get out and run. He just loved competing.

“He’d be the equal best we’ve had up to 450m, with Ferdinand Boy, and just behind My Redeemer (2018 Melbourne Cup winner) over ‘500’. My Redeemer ran 29.12sec at Sandown and I think he would get down to around 28.90sec the way the tracks are now.”

Geall said Koblenz will stand at a $2250 service fee when he commences stud duties.

Koblenz pictured winning the Group 2 Cranbourne Cup.

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

Gerard Guthrie

One of Australia’s leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)

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