Glory Days retired

Glory Days
Glory Days winning the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m). Photo: Trish Dunell

The racing career of Group 1 winner Glory Days has come to an end. The daughter of Red Giant won 10 of her 32 starts and gave trainer Bill Thurlow some of his biggest moments in racing.

Glory Days had a standout 2018-19 season, recording seven wins, including the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) and placing in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m). “She has been brilliant,” Thurlow said. “She has done everything we have asked of her. She is just feeling the effects of it I think and it’s just time to let her be a broodmare.”

“Last season was a big highlight. Everything she did was brilliant. Winning the Avondale Cup (Group 2, 2400m) and Auckland Cup (Group 1, 3200m), and even the Waverley (2200m) and Wanganui (Listed, 2040m) Cups, it was great. “It was very satisfying to get my first Group 1 with her in the Auckland Cup and she was super in the Sydney Cup. She went a huge race from well back in the field. “We were very proud of what she achieved last year.”

Having recorded two pleasing results in two of Australasia’s Group 1 two-mile races, Thurlow was keen to add a third and set his mare on a path towards the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) in November. However, things didn’t go to plan for the Waverley mare, recording fifth placings in her first two Melbourne runs, including the Group 3 JRA Cup (2030m) at Moonee Valley, before disappointing when finishing ninth in the Group 2 Herbert Power (2400m).

Her Melbourne Cup aspirations were cut short after that run due to a suspected paddock accident. “It just didn’t work out for us in the spring and she ended up with an injury,” Thurlow said. “She is seven now and sometimes they don’t get over those things as quickly as you would like them to.”

Glory Days made a raceday return in February, finishing unplaced in the Group 1 Haunui Farm WFA Group 1 Classic (1600m) before the curtain came down on her racing career with a fourth-placing in the Listed New Zealand St Leger (2600m). “I was a bit disappointed with her run in the St Leger,” Thurlow said. “She is way better than that and she is not quite letting down. She probably hasn’t got over her Melbourne trip as well as we had hoped. “It’s just time to call it a day on her raceday career.”

Thurlow believes she will make a great broodmare and discerning breeders will have the opportunity to add her to their broodmare band in the coming months. “She has won over every distance – 1200m, 1400m, 1600, 1800m, 2000m, 2200m, and two miles,” Thurlow said. “She couldn’t really do anymore to enhance her prospects as a broodmare because she was just a brilliant racehorse. She had a great turn of foot and could run great sectionals. “From talking with the owners I understand that she will be sold on the open market.”

Glory Days came into Thurlow’s stable as a juvenile and he said she has taken her connections on a great ride. “We leased her out of the paddock as a two-year-old. “In her early days she was very frail, there was not much of her and she just took a bit of time really. But once she developed she was away. “We had a really great couple of years, but every good thing comes to an end.”