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Gloaming - Profile of a Champion
Gloaming was spelled and came back for yet another trip to Australia as a 9yo.
In the Chelmsford he was sent out as the 9-10 favourite and settled just off the pace. Around the home turn Gloaming was pocketed as the lightweight 3yo Heroic waited for a run alongside. As Gloaming swung wide looking for a clear run Heroic dashed through an opening that had appeared and raced clear. Gloaming charged after the 3yo but couldn't bridge the gap and Heroic went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths in record time with 2 1/2 lengths back to Wallace Mortlake third.
A week later Gloaming was expected to atone for his first up defeat but again luck deserted him. After being trapped wide in the Chelmsford his jockey kept to the fence in the Hill Stakes. A gap appeared and as the old horse tried to run on it closed and he dropped three lengths behind the others. Ballymena was well clear by this stage but Gloaming rebalanced and flew after him. Again he ran out of time and Ballymena held on by a short neck with The Hawk third.
Many speculated that age had finally caught up with Gloaming but no one told the old champion and he lined up for his next start in the Spring Stakes at Randwick. Sent out the 5-4 favourite Gloaming was too good winning by 1 1/2 lengths from David with Ballymena third. In winning he reclaimed his crown as Australia's greatest stakeswinner as it had been taken from him by WA superstar Eurythmic during the time Gloaming was on the sidelines in 1923.
Four days later Gloaming again lined up against Ballymena in the Craven Plate at Randwick. Ballymena led and Gloaming joined him in the straight and the pair went stride for stride much to the thrill of the crowd. as they drew to the finish Gloaming poked his head in front to win by a long head from Ballymena with three lengths to David in third. Sadly Ballymena was put down after a training accident soon after the titanic struggle. It was Gloaming's third win the race having won it previously in 1919 and 1922. The race was also Gloaming's final appearance in Sydney.
First thoughts were of retirement for Gloaming and then to return straight back to New Zealand but owner G Greenwood decided to take Gloaming back to his original home in Victoria for the Spring Carnival races. Due to the wet tracks his racing was restricted but he made a guest appearance on Cox Plate day in an exhibition gallop. He ran the 1100m in 1.5 5/10 creating a track record with the workout. Then a week later in the Melbourne Stakes Victorian racegoers saw him race. As the 2-1 on favourite Gloaming defeated Whittier and Easingwold with ease. To complete his visit he paraded for the huge crowds on Melbourne Cup day.
Gloaming faced only Chignon also owned by G Greenwood in the Challenge Stakes at Canterbury a race he won three times before his shock defeat 12 months earlier. This year there was no mix up at the start and Gloaming cruised home to win by three lengths.
During the Autumn The Hawk had hit top form and set racing alight in Australia and his owner disputed that Gloaming was the best horse in Australasia. He had won 7 races during his campaign and was sent to New Zealand for a clash with Gloaming in the Ormond Memorial Gold Cup.
Gloaming warmed up for the clash by defeating Runnymede and Mimetric under the huge weight of 63.5kg in the Hawkes Bay Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs the day before the big clash.
Billed as "The Match Race of the Decade' it became a two horse race when the two other runners were scratched. Both horses were on edge at the start holding up proceedings but soon they were off. Gloaming led early but The Hawk soon took over to lead by 2 lengths. By the 800m Gloaming was a length off the lead and cut the margin to a half lengths around the turn. The crowd roared as the pair turned together and they went stride for stride. By the 200m Gloaming edged ahead and as hard as The Hawk tried he couldn't match the old horse and Gloaming came away to win by a length.
His retirement was immediately announced and Gloaming retired as a rising 10 year old with 57 wins from 67 starts and 9 seconds.
Gloaming was a kind natured horse and enjoyed the company of other horses. He also loved food and would wear a muzzle if housed in a straw lined stall. When he won a race he would always receive an apple on the rare occasion he lost he would not even ask for the apple with one exception. The day he fell in the North Island Challenge Stakes and asked and received an apple.
Gloaming retired to his owners property at Teviotdale in North Canterbury. He died there in May 1932. The site is now known as Gloaming's Hill. Soon after Gloaming's death in 1932 his trainer Dick Mason also died. Only a handful of months after that GG Greenwood died.