Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Subzero inducted into racing hall of fame

Graham Salisbury star has another honour to add to his 1992 Melbourne Cup.

BARBARA SUNGAILA May 16, 2014 3:20am

Subzero with his best mate and owner Graham Salisbury (above) and his Australian Racing Hall of Fame Award. Photo: Barbara Sungaila

Racing legend and Heathcote local Subzero, better known as Subbie, always pulls a crowd and his recent induction into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame was no exception.

The 1992 Melbourne Cup Winner held up proceedings for about an hour-and-a-half at the ceremony in Canberra.

Owner Graham Salisbury said Subbie was the first horse ever to be present for their induction.

‘‘They laid out a red carpet for him. He walked up the red carpet and on the side of the venue there were big sliding doors and on the other side of the doors people couldn’t see out... and there were about 700 people,’’ Mr Salisbury said.

‘‘When it was his time to be inducted they showed him winning the Melbourne Cup and then they slid the doors back.

‘‘Well the place just erupted and everyone came out. They all wanted a pat and photos.’’

The grey gelding won the 1992 Melbourne Cup, the Adelaide Cup and the South Australian Derby in the same year, but he retired in 1994 due to recurring leg problems

When Mr Salisbury bought him from trainer Lee Freedman for $1, Subbie began a long stint as a clerk of the course horse.

Now a Racing Victoria ambassador, he visits schools across the state.

During the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, the Subzero Challenge was held for the first time.

It is a three-part greys-only race series which extends on the popular Crown Oaks Day greys race, held since 1996.

The series was announced after a worrying health scare last year when Subbie’s bowel became trapped between his kidney and spleen.

At the time it was touch and go, but successful treatment soon saw him back home in his Heathcote paddock.

It was not the first time his health had made headlines.

In 2009, an Australian Customs ban on a drug Subbie was taking for arthritis meant the horse was almost certainly facing untimely end.

However, high-level government intervention led to the ban being overturned and Subbie was soon back to normal.

Mr Salisbury said Subbie was doing very well.

‘‘Health-wise he’s 100 per cent,’’ Mr Salisbury said.

‘‘His arthritis is good and everything’s good with him.’’

Mr Salisbury was thrilled with the chance to take Subbie to Canberra for his induction.

‘‘It meant the world to me,’’ he said.

‘‘He’s been all round the world and he’s won a Melbourne Cup and now he’s been inducted into the hall of fame.’’

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