Speeding Spur and driver Joshua Dickie hold out the challenge of Sundees Sun and John Dunn in the New Zealand Trotting Championship. Photo: Race Images.
Despite being in the twilight of his career, Speeding Spur’s future possibilities have been left wide open.
The grand trotter willed his way back in to group 1 winning form with a determined effort to take out the New Zealand Trotting Championship at Addington on Friday.
The race was widely expected to be the John and Josh Dickie trained squaregaiter’s Addington swansong and his third-last start.
However, Speeding Spur’s future plans will not be cemented until an upcoming meeting of his shareholders is held.
That leaves the possibility open that the Pegasus Spur entire could go around on the Australasian open class circuit again next season.
Speeding Spur could also be sent overseas, possibly to North America, for a campaign there.
Though there has been speculation that that is an option his owners are looking in to, they would not confirm anything until after the group meets in the coming weeks.
Before that theory emerged as a possibility, Speeding Spur was expected to retire after next month’s Rowe Cup, ahead of him commencing his stud career.
That also remains a possibility for the trotter’s owners.
No matter how many group 1 wins Speeding Spur notches, it will not be enough for Joshua Dickie to stop marvelling at him.
Dickie was left in awe of the brave squaregaiter after the horse fought his way back to group 1 winning form after suffering a pulmonary haemorrhage in Australia just two starts ago.
“It was pretty cool tonight, to have the old horse back winning a group 1,” the trainer-driver said on Friday night.
“It always amazes me he can still can get out there and run as good as the best in New Zealand.”
“I take my hat off to the horse, he is an unbelievable horse, he has been through a lot in his life.”
Speeding Spur was made to earn the ninth group 1 win of his career when he, Sundees Sun and Winterfell were in a three-horse war at the 500m.
Sundees Sun drew half a length in front of Speeding Spur at the 400m.
But, the veteran held the inside running, which was a key to his victory.
“We were really clicking down the back straight.”
“When they first started I was worried they might zip around him, but he did enough to hold them.”
“Then, it was going to be a battle up the straight.”
Speeding Spur tenaciously held off Sundees Sun, before the runner-up rolled in to a gallop on the line.
It is that bravery that has become the signature strength of the seven-year-old’s career.
“He loves winning and you don’t come across too many horses who have that real desire to win.”
Speeding Spur will have his next start in the ANZAC Cup at Alexandra Park before attempting to defend his 2018 Rowe Cup title.