Source: Punters.com.au, by James Lamb
Grand old campaigner Humidor has run his last race, finishing 7th in the G1 Doomben Cup (2000m) won in destructive fashion by imported galloper Zaaki.
It wasn’t the fairytale ending his connections would’ve been hoping for, but the son of Teofilo lost no admirers at his 50th race start.
Humidor retires as a three-time Group One winner but most would agree his crowning glory came in the 2017 Cox Plate (2040m) when second to legendary mare Winx.
Sent out at $31, coming off a 5th placing in the G1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Humidor gave Winx and her backers an almighty scare, looming ominously before being held to just under half-a-length. Folkswood finished some 4.25L away in third.
It was by far the closest any galloper got to Winx in four Cox Plates and also the mighty mare’s smallest winning margin in a Group One during her extraordinary streak of 33 consecutive wins.
“He has been an absolute gentleman to have around the stable and will no doubt be remembered as one of the top weight-for-age horses of his time and for performances like his brave second to Winx in her historic third Cox Plate in 2017,” trainer Chris Waller said in a statement.
Humidor looked set for retirement following an ill-fated three-start campaign in Western Australia for Lindsey Smith in 2020.
The then seven-year-old failed to place in three Belmont runs before being sent to Waller in a move that surprised many.
In a remarkable form turnaround, Humidor came from near-last in the G2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) to knock off the Melbourne Cup favourite Surprise Baby in a shock first-up win.
“We have been lucky enough to train Humidor during the latter part of his career and his first-up performance at Moonee Valley where he stormed home to win the Feehan Stakes as an eight-year-old was certainly a highlight of the season for myself and the team,” said Waller.
That proved to be Humidor’s last win, but he showed that was no fluke with placings behind Russian Camelot and Arcadia Queen in the G1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) and G1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) respectively.
Competitive at the top level for five seasons, Humidor started his career in New Zealand under Johno Benner before joining the Darren Weir stable in the spring of 2016.
The first of his three Group One wins came in the 2017 Australian Cup (2000m), outgunning Caulfield Cup winner Jameka in a stirring Flemington duel.
Four starts later, Humidor notched up another Group One win at headquarters with a scintillating 3.25L victory in the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) as a $17 chance.
Humidor’s final Group One success was also a blowout for punters, taking out the 2018 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at $21 in a thrilling four-way finish.
Just 0.4L separated the first four across the line, with Humidor outgunning Kementari and Kings Will Dream over the Caulfield 1400m.
Following his Memsie win, Humidor placed in another five Group One races for a total of nine minor placings at the top level.
He retires with over $4.4 million in earnings from 50 starts in New Zealand, Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australian and Queensland.
“He has been a special horse to those who have had the pleasure to train him as well as the stablehands, track riders and strappers who have looked after him during his racing career.
“We wish him the best of luck in his life after racing,” Waller said.