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Profile of a Champion

By Decies From Sweet Candy
Page 1

Lindsay Park experienced the highs and lows of racing during the short career of Dulcify.  Considered the best horse ever trained by Colin Hayes Dulcify was bred by R Porter of Fielding New Zealand and was foaled on October 14 1975. 

Dulcify’s sire Decies had been imported to New Zealand from the United Kingdom by Nelson Barker Hunt who had purchased him as a late 2yo to stand at Waikato Stud.  During that season he had run second to the champion Nijinsky and as a 3yo won the Irish Two Thousand Guineas.  Dulcify was a member of Decies second crop and the stallion went on to sire 15 stakeswinners including the class racehorses Lefroy, Lost Valley, Decanka  and Kiwi Princess.



Sweet Candy was by Todman from the Wilkes mare Risque and was foaled in 1969.  Despite being placed 7 times she retired winless from the racetrack.  Due mainly to Dulcify’s exploits Sweet Candy was named NZ Broodmare of the Year in 1979.  Her first foal in 1974 was the Decies filly Cotton Candy (who foaled successful broodmare Take Aim by Godswalk) followed by Dulcify in 1975 before missing the following season.  A colt Intentionally by Decies was foaled in 1977 and he later stood at stud from 1981 to 1989 producing 81 live foals but after only serving one mare in 1986 he suffered from a huge decline in fertility in his final few seasons.  Another colt by Zamazaan followed in 1978 and Exemplify went on to win the Christmas Hcp amongst his 6 wins and be placed second in the Group 1 Ampol Stakes and Australian Cup before breaking down and being destroyed during the Perth carnival.   Sweet Candy’s next foal was the filly Dulcima Lass to Zamazaan.  This filly became the dam of stakeswinner Daedahl who was later sent to Singapore.  In 1980 Pathman by Sovereign Edition was foaled and he stood at stud in Australia from 1985 to 1990 producing 34 live foals from very small books.  Sweet Candy missed to Century in 1981 then foaled Candy Top, grand dam of winners Bud and Epona Miss,  to Century before missing to Without Fear.  She slipped again the following year and then was given a year off  before missing again.  She was sent to Grosvenor in November 1986 but there is no record beyond that on either the New Zealand or Australian Stud books and she was dropped from the latter in 1990.

Dulcify was offered at the 1977 New Zealand National Yearling Sale but buyers attracted by his pedigree soon lost interest on realising he had a parrot mouth.  A parrot mouth is where the jaw is undershot and can make it harder for horses to hold condition due to not being able to graze efficiently but this problem never affected Dulcify.  It is also not desirable in breeding stock as it can be passed on.  Colin Hayes like others was not impressed on seeing the colt but decided for only NZ$3, 500 it was worth the risk and he was planning to gelding the horse anyway as he wasn’t a ‘stallion’ type.  Dulcify came into the ownership of Colin and Betty Hayes plus Bill Rigg and Alan Maller from Perth. 

After being gelded Dulcify was left to grow and mature only being given a light training preparation as a 2yo before being spelled.  When he came back into training as a 3yo the plan was to aim at the spring Derby races in South Australia and Victoria.  Sent to Balaklava to barrier trial he got down in the float on the way there and suffered an injury so missed the run and was sent to the races with no actual guide to his racing ability.  Dulcify’s first race was a Graduation at Morphettville over 1200m.  The track was a bog after heavy rain and he drew barrier 20 the extreme outside of the field.  After opening at 100-1 he drifted to 300-1 in betting but no one told Dulcify he was the despised outsider of the field.  Coming down the outside rail Dulcify stormed home to win from Silver Plaque and Lairds Manor.  A fortnight later he lined up at Victoria Park over 1450m and was beaten into fifth place.  He returned to the winning list 14 days later at Morphettville over 1600m and was aimed to the SA Derby.  In the SA Derby, run in early October, he hit the front in the straight only to be run down in the final few metres by Regal Jester.  Proving he could stay his next assignment was the VRC Derby only a month away.  Lining up at Moonee Valley with Brent Thomson riding him for the first time Dulcify was third in the Greenvale Hcp over 1600m.  It was then onto the VRC Derby.  By the 600m Dulcify was well back behind a wall of horses with Karaman and Just a Steal in front being joined by Hauberk.  Dulcify moved up to 9th finding a gap and eventually clear running on the outside.  By the 300m Karaman and Hauberk were fighting it out from Turf Ruler who looked the danger as Dulcify was starting to wind up down the outside.  Karaman dashed clear by the clocktower and was holding Turf Ruler but Dulcify was now charging and joined him by the 100m coming away to win by 1 ½ lengths with Turf Ruler third.

Instead of a break Dulcify then lined up in the Sandown Cup and was sent out the 3-1 favourite but was caught behind runners.  Eventually he stumbled and nearly fell causing Brent Thomson to break a stirrup leather but still managed to pass the post in 6th position.  He was then sent to Perth Dulcify flew across without drama and ran second in the Quality Stakes over 1800m art Ascot despite not stretching out on the hard Perth tracks.  After a 4th in the WA Derby Dulcify was sent home.  The plan was to fly but after midnight on January 3rd when he was loaded at Perth Airport Dulcify started to panic and rear eventually breaking free.  Luckily he was soon recaptured and it was decided to float him back rather than risk an outburst mid-flight.

More drama was to follow as the float broke down 150 miles from Ceduna and realising the potential affects of the heat handler Terry Ryan found a lift into town where he hired a float to retrieve Dulcify.  They stayed in Ceduna for two days with Dulcify taken to stand in the sea during the day due to the extreme heat.  Given a short let up Dulcify was set for the Autumn and lined up in the Schweppes Cup over 1600m at Caulfield in late February but on a bog track finished well back.  Undaunted Colin Hayes sent him straight into the Australian Cup.  Turning for home Dulcify was 3rd last as Manikato kicked three lengths ahead of Turf Ruler with Family of Man starting his run.  Dulcify started to thread between the other runners but passing the 200m Manikato was full of running and still well clear of Family of Man.  By the 100m Manikato was starting to tire but still well in front as Dulcify took a gap between runners and started his late charge.  In the final 50 metres Dulcify at 80-1 reeled in Manikato to win with Family of Man third.

Onto to Sydney and another rematch with Manikato in the Rosehill Guineas over 2000m with the latter the hot favourite at 6-4 on.  By the 200m Manikato led from Champagne Boy then March to Glory.  At the 100m Champagne Boy had joined Manikato but Dulcify was charging home out wider and with 30 metres to Dulcify hit the lead to come away for an easy win with Champagne Boy second and Scomeld third.  Dulcify then took on the older horses at weight for age in the Tancred Stakes where he followed the smart New Zealander Shivaree throughout but couldn’t outsprint him in the run to the line having to settle for second with Happy Union third.


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