Australian racing lost two of its great legends in the last couple of days with the deaths of Western Australian bulldog Northerly and the front running Vo Rogue.
Vo Rogue created a cult following with his front running style with jockey Cyril Small letting him set up ten to twelve lengths margins over his rivals issuing the challenge of catch me if you can.
Owner Jeff Perry was never far from his side and the twenty-eight year old died at his Mt Tambourine property earlier in the week.
Vo Rogue was trained by the unfashionable Vic Rail who arrived in Melbourne unannounced in the late 1980s to unleash his plain brown gelding against some of the best weight for age horses in the country.
With Small claiming the majority of his twenty-six wins, the pair went on to win some of the major weight for age races in the land, including two Australian Cups.
And he took plenty of high profile scalps along the way including Better Loosen, Super Impose, Stylish Century and Campaign King.
“He had a tremendously big stride and he picked them up and put them down pretty quickly,” Small said.
“A lot of people have said over the years Vo Rogue might have had a better record if he had been with one of the top stables. That’s rubbish. Vic did a terrific job with the horse. But he had a good offsider with Jeff Perry. He had a lot of say in the way Vo Rogue was handled.”
Whereas Vo Vogue lived to the good old age of twenty-eight, Northerly’s retirement was cut short when he had to be put down on Wednesday night resulting from complications due to a bout of colic.
Northerly arrived from the West in early 2001 and created a huge impression in winning his first of two Australian Cups at Flemington and went onto to win two Cox Plates among a host of other Group races.
Two of his more memorable wins from his nineteen victories were when he overpowered Sunline in the 2001 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley and his 2002 Caulfield Cup win over Fields Of Omagh with 58kg.