Talented middle-distance specialist and million-dollar earner Defibrillate has been retired.
The son of Shocking was bred by co-trainer Graham Richardson alongside the McInteer Family, both parties remaining in the ownership alongside several other close friends, including fellow trainer Lance O'Sullivan and former Black Cap Brendan McCullum.
Defibrillate commenced his racing career in Richardson's Matamata stable, winning two of his first three starts before relocating across the Tasman to join Patrick Payne's Victorian operation in 2019.
Defibrillate flourished under Payne's care and went on to record eight victories in Australia, including stakes-level crowns in the Listed Lord Stakes (1700m) and back-to-back wins in the Listed Mornington Cup Prelude (2000m). The gelding also finished a commendable sixth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m), finishing less than two lengths behind winner Homesman.
“He won three Listed races over there, sadly we couldn't get over there much due to COVID at the time, but I managed to get to one of his races when he won at Flemington,” Richardson said.
Having collected more than A$750,000 in prizemoney and contending with tough handicapped weights, Defibrillate returned to Richardson's stable last year.
The evergreen eight-year-old continued his stellar form, finishing third in the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m) fresh-up, with a victory soon following in the Group 3 Balmerino Stakes (2050m) at Pukekohe.
Defibrillate earned a well-deserved Group One title with a decisive performance in the Group 1 Zabeel Classic (2050m) on Boxing Day last year, bringing his earnings over the $1 million mark.
A muddled campaign this time in took a toll on the nine-year-old, first sustaining a minor injury to the eye when resuming at Te Rapa, followed by a tough run in the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m). His final race-day appearance saw him finish back in the field in the Listed Wanganui Cup (2040m) last Saturday, confirming Richardson's decision to call time.
“We've retired him, he's had a couple of bad incidents in his races and hasn't been the same since, but he's certainly earned his way,” said Richardson, who trains in partnership with Rogan Norvall.
“I'm glad I went with him to Wanganui on Saturday, I felt like he needed to either improve or he'd tell us he wants a good holiday, which is what he deserves.”
Richardson reflected fondly on his charge's many achievements and was pleased to report Defibrillate would reside at part-owner Brendan McCullum's property, joining former stablemate and fellow Zabeel Classic victor Tiptronic.
“Having all of my good mates in this horse with me was a huge thrill,” he said.
“He's been a great horse and I want to look after him, he's going to be next door at Brendan's place and he'll live with Tiptronic there.”