Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Rather remiss of me in overlooking one of Bel Esprit’s eight winners in the past four days. Yep, Vetwrap flew under the radar when winning at Warrnacknabeal on Sunday. My bad.
Normally a 7YO winning in country Victoria is not headline making stuff and trainer Darren Weir, who puts the polish on this year’s pre-post Melbourne Cup favourite, probably won’t put Vetwrap’s September sally on equal footing with other achievements, but it certainly meant a lot to the owners.
Vetwrap got his name, according to breeder and part-owner Judi Clarke, from a propensity for injuring himself.
Judi and her husband, Max, learned early in the piece that you can’t wrap them in cotton wool but buying shares in Johnson & Johnson would have been a whole lot cheaper than the wrap a vet uses.
Probably no great surprise then that the yearling was passed in at the 2008 Melbourne Premier and is now raced under the ownership of: Mr AJ Clark, Mrs IL Clark, Mr MJ Clarke, Mrs JA Clarke, Mr A Mastromanno, Mr GJ Clark, Mrs LG Clark and Forest Lodge Racing Pty Ltd.
(Crikey, there’s more clark(e)s than a governmental department and would someone like to explain where Mastromanno comes from?).
And if there are prizes for persistence …
Vetwrap didn’t race until he was a spring 4YO and it wasn’t until his third start – way back in December 2010 – that he cracked it for a win.
But then he was off the scene again – an operation sidelining him for 2 years, 7 months and 16 days: that’s 2.62 years, 137 weeks, 959 days.
Most of us would have pulled up stumps, but when Vetwrap resumed on 27 July with a fast finishing third and backed it up with a bee’s appendage second on 11 August – after jumping awkwardly and laying in under pressure – the scene was well and truly set for a return to the winners’ circle on 9 September.
To make it even more interesting, he came home like the last train to Clarkesville … near last entering the straight before winning by a shade under two lengths.

That’s what we call triumph over adversity.

Judi & Max Clarke

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