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By Graham Potter | Sunday, October 8, 2017

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

Racehorse ownership is a precarious past-time. It is a concept built on a dream with the implied understanding that few dreams will actually be realised but the motivation to go on with it remains because nobody can say in advance who will own the next champion.

On every owners wish-list is a horse with above average ability that stays sound to the degree that it can do its talent justice.

So, when you find such a horse you should be in the pound seats ... right?

Not quite!

Take the perplexing case of Pakistan Star, a four-year-old gelding who races in Hong Kong.

Pakistan Star has won three of his eleven starts ... but it was his scintillating, last to first, debut performance on July 1, 2016, that immediately had him tagged as an internet sensation. (Google the video if you want to have your breath taken away).

Nearly a year later he had those three wins to his name along with five notable runner-up finishes which included eye-catching results in the Classic Cup, The Derby and the QE11 Cup.

Clearly Pakistan Star was poised for further success. No surprise then that he went out as the short priced favourite in the Premier Plate on June 25 this year. It was a race that would renew his celebrity status on the internet ... but this time the sensation was far removed from that come from behind victory.

The horse jumped slowly, thought about it at the back of the field for about 100m then decided to pull up ... and there was nothing even the urgings of the mighty Joao Moreira could do about it.

For the second time ... one good, one bad ... Pakistan Star had the commentator saying he could not believe his eyes.

Last Tuesday morning, Pakistan Star trialled at Sha Tin and did exactly as he had done in the Premier Plate. He simply refused to gallop. As a consequence the stewards have ordered that the horse has to satisfactorily complete two gallops and two trials ... consecutively ... before he can race again.

So even a talented and sound racehorse’s career can grind to a halt.

“He’s fit and feels really good in himself. There’s just something going on his mind,” was Moreira’s feedback.

You can only imagine what is going on in the owner’s mind.

Ah, the joys of racehorse ownership!

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Pakistan Star in happier times ... winning with Matthew Chadwick aboard

Photo: Courtesy Hong Kong Jockey Club
Pakistan Star in happier times ... winning with Matthew Chadwick aboard

Photo: Courtesy Hong Kong Jockey Club
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