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Osborne Bulls retires with honour

Mike Hedge

One of the most talented and best-loved racehorses among the current Godolphin crop, Osborne Bulls, has been retired.

A horse who stared down adversity from early in his life, who made his mark at the top level and who was loved and admired by all who came in contact with him, Osborne Bulls started 20 times, won nine and missed a place only twice.

Closer examination of his record reveals that five of his second placings came in the six G1 races he contested, and although they included a few “if-only” moments, he had his chances and always gave 100 percent.

Osborne Bulls also finished a memorable third in the 2018 Everest after being a late inclusion in the field and finishing against the outside fence.

A member of the penultimate Australian crop of the Darley shuttle stallion Street Cry, Osborne Bulls faced a variety of veterinary issues that delayed his racing debut until the final week of his three-year-old season.

He won that race and three of his next four and began his second campaign with another first-up victory. His first Stakes win came at Scone in May, 2018 and his second at his next start when first-up in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield in the spring of the same year.

Osborne Bulls’ only unplaced G1 run came at his next start when he jumped a few classes to tackle the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield and finished fifth to fellow Godolphin runner Jungle Cat.

His G1 record continued with second placings in the Lightning Stakes, beaten a nose by In Her Time, the Newmarket Handicap behind Sunlight, the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick behind Santa Ana Lane, the All-Aged Stakes behind Pierata and in the Doomben 10,000 to The Bostonian.

During last year's spring campaign, the rigour of racing caught up with him, at his age and stage of life the team at Godolphin decided to give him a dignified exit having last raced in the G2 The Premier at Royal Randwick. 

Godolphin Australia general manager Vin Cox described Osborne Bulls as a credit to himself and a team who knew him as “Ozzie”.

“Osborne Bulls is a testament to our people and the Godolphin way,” Cox said.

“From the team at Woodlands who foaled him down to the team at Kelvinside who educate our young horses, to the racing team, everyone had a soft spot for him. There were extensive efforts at rehabilitation that occurred at Osborne Park, Twin Hills and Kelvinside that allowed him to overcome his issues. It is no secret that he faced much adversity throughout his life, but he always fought back.”

Trainer James Cummings guided Osborne Bulls throughout a racing career that will stand as a tribute to the horse.

“I’d have loved to see him get a G1 win for his sake, but five second placings at that level show he deserved to be regarded among the elite sprinters of his generation,” Cummings said.

“There’s no doubt he was a superior racehorse, his record shows that. But to be confident you were going to get the complete effort every time you put a saddle on his back is what will characterise him.”

“Probably the most obvious example was in The Everest when he came into the race late in the piece and then ran an incredible race to finish third against the outside fence on that very heavy track.”

“But that was not very different to what we saw from him in much lesser races, one of his best wins was at Gosford back near the beginning of his career.”

Osborne Bulls will enter Godolphin’s Lifetime Care Program with a specific role to be decided in the near future.