As Australian racegoers paused to remember Northerly, there were more tributes from his home in Western Australia.
Revered as the best galloper to ever emerge from the west, Northerly died after a colic attack in his retirement paddock at Busselton on Wednesday. He was 15.
Northerly won two Cox Plates, two Australian Cups and a Caulfield Cup for trainer Fred Kersley. He was crowned Australian Horse Of The Year in 2003 and was later elected to the Australian Racing Hall Of Fame.
His battles with mighty mare Sunline reached epic proportions. They both won two Cox Plates and their showdown in 2001 remains one of the all-time classics at Moonee Valley.
Fred Kersley’s wife Judith, who part-owned Northerly with breeder Neville Duncan, got the call at 10 o’clock on Wednesday night. “It’s a very sad day,” she told the West Australian newspaper. “He looked off colour yesterday and veterinary treatment began promptly, but he could not be saved.”
Jockey Danny Miller, who rode Northerly to win his first Group 1 in the 2000 Railway Stakes at Ascot, said the horse had been awesome. “Northerly was great ambassador for WA racing,” Miller said. “He’s clearly the best galloper to have begun his career in Perth.”
Northerly passed away soon after Vo Rogue called it a day aged 28. Western Australia also lost a true champion in harness racing when Village Kid died last month.