Australian thoroughbred race horse Dulcify was known as the horse that stopped the nation.
A short but electrifying career saw the thoroughbred Dulcify do his owner and trainer Colin Hayes proud.
An unfortunate accident cut short Dulcify's racing career, which would have definitely rewritten history many times over.
Dulcify was one of several Australian thoroughbred race horses with their origin in New Zealand. He was the offspring of Decies, a British-bred sire who won the 1970 Irish 2,000 Guineas (a Group 1 flat horse race in Ireland open to three year old thoroughbred colts and fillies).
Decies was the grandson of Pharis. Pharis was a French horse who was according to Thoroughbred Heritage was “one of the greatest French bred runners of the century”. Pharis was named after the Spartan town of Pharis. Marcel Boussac was Pharis's owner.
Foaled in New Zealand in 1975, Dulcify caught the fancy of the legendary Colin Hayes who purchased him for $3250. According to Hayes, Dulcify was the best horse he had ever raced. His first win was at the amazing odds of 330/1. He lost to Regal Jester in the SAJC Derby but regained his form in the VRC Australian Cup beating Manikato and Family Man.
This was followed by the Rosehill Guineas, a second place in the Tancred Stakes, and a major victory in the AJC Derby with Brent Thomson in the saddle. In the spring of 1979 he finished unplaced over 5 furlongs.
As a four year old, Dulcify won the Craiglee Stakes and the Turnbull Stakes, and managed a third spot in the Underwood Stakes. He also won the MacKinnon Stakes. An astounding victory in the 1979 WS Cox Plate by a record seven lengths caught the eyes of the punters and obviously made him the favourite for the Melbourne Cup.
Dulcify was at his usual but suffered a broken pelvis in the race after being galloped on by Hyperno, the race winner, and unfortunately had to be put to rest.
His statistics would have been much different if it wasn't for the accident. Dulcify's racing career ended with 10 wins from 21 starts, with 2 second placing and a third spot, making Colin Hayes richer by $568, 775. He also made it to the record books as the first horse to win four $100,000 prizes.
Dulcify will always be remembered for his amazing pace, coming in from behind in the home straight. When he kicked at the top of the straight he would often finish the race in three bounds.
Many in the Australian fraternity rue the fact that they never got to see one of the biggest showdowns between Dulcify and Kingston Town, another great racehorse of the era.
Dulcify's accident left Colin Hayes very upset while the dumping of the horse's body led to a controversy. Two people witnessed the body being dumped by the strappers who refuse to divulge details to this day. Dulcify was buried at Werribee a day later under a tree in a lush paddock.
Dulcify's accident and untimely death was the saddest day on the racetrack where everyone was in tears.