OVER three years ago the connections of well bred pacer Cardinal Seth retired the gelding on veterinary advice due to constant problems with his joints and other ailments.
But a stint as a hack for young children on a North West Coast property proved to be the perfect respite for the horse that has some blue blood running through his veins.
At The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston last Sunday night Cardinal Seth returned to racing in a blaze of glory, scoring a game win in over 2200 metres at what was his first start since May 2008.
Hobby trainer David Hayes had managed to achieve what the horse’s owners thought impossible
With ace reinsman Ricky Duggan in the sulky, Cardinal Seth weaved his way through the field leaving the back straight and ran on resolutely to score by almost four metres.
Cardinal Seth was retired after having only one start as a three-year-old and that was in a heat of the Globe Derby Stakes at Mowbray.
But three years and five months on he is something of a revelation given the ease with which he treated his rivals in a C0 on Sunday.
The horse is owned by Chester and Julia Bullock who were happy to unload the gelding as a hack at the end of his three-year-old campaign.
Cardinal Seth spent over two years with a family at Sheffield on the North-West Coast but when he started to buck his riders off the family opted to send the horse back to his owners.
Chester Bullock arranged for the horse to be taken to trainer David Hayes who lived close by at Kimberley and from there he (Bullock) would consider his options.
But Hayes noticed something in the horse that nobody else could see and asked Bullock if he could put him back into training.
“When the horse arrived at my place he settled in really well and I let him run around a paddock with a weanling for about six months and when that young horse was about to be sent to be broken in there was something about the look of Cardinal Seth that convinced me I should put him back in work,” Hayes said.
“I looked up his breeding and saw he was very well bred being by Village Jasper out of Classic Maid that produced some really good ones including Gotcha Mate that won 18 races.”
“I was aware of the reasons why Chester (Bullock) retired him but he showed no signs of any soreness running around the paddock and when I jogged him up he still didn’t show any signs of wear and tear.”
“I led him off my good horse Armbo Spur fore about two months and when I decided to put him in training I worked on his shoeing and set them (shoes) up in a way that took pressure off his hocks that were the main cause of his soreness as a young horse,” he said.
A few trips to the trials Hayes was convince the horse had enough ability to win.
The rest is history and Hayes, who has been training part-time for over 30 years, is now perusing the racing calendar in search of Cardinal Seth’s next assignment.