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Suivez Moi

Suivez Moi (foaled 1984) was a chestnut gelding by Pas de Seul, a son of Mill Reef. He was out of the mare Reparata by Jukebox, and was a regular competitor at the minor British race tracks in the early 1990s.

During a career that spanned some seven years he ran 68 times winning 9 and placed 17 times. This included a remarkable fifteen month period between December 1989 and February 1991 during which Suivez Moi ran 30 times, all of which were over middle distances or further.

Suivez Moi was trained by Conrad Allen in Newmarket, who purchased him from Ascot Sales for 500 Guineas. As a 3 year old, Suivez Moi was placed 4 times and won a selling race at Catterick, but it was only towards the end of his four year old season in a selling race at Wolverhampton that former champion jockey Muis Roberts worked out the key to how best to ride him. "The Racing Post" comments in running state: "headway 3f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong". Previously, the gelding had always been ridden up with the pace of the race. Following a lacklustre performance at the same venue a fortnight later, Suivez Moi was rested for the autumn of 1989 with a view to a winter campaign over hurdles and the new all-weather racecourses on the flat.

December 1989 to February 1991

In December 1989 following an encouraging return on the all-weather at Southwell, Suivez Moi ran disappointingly twice more that month and once in January 1990 at Lingfield, the last time reportedly breaking a blood vessel.

The horse's apparent dislike for Lingfield coupled with his bleeding had a benign effect on his handicap mark which fell by 10 lb during these two months to the nugatory mark of 27. Returning to Southwell on February 17 he won so easily that he was back a fortnight later only to trail in last having broken a blood vessel again.

After being given a few weeks off, his connections decided to send him hurdling at Fakenham, a venue at which he had previously won, and did so again. From May 1 to June 1 Suivez Moi ran six times on the flat over a total of 99 furlongs winning twice and placed twice. The final outing at Newcastle on firm ground reportedly gave the horse sore shins, which resulted in a further brief holiday until mid-August. On August 16, 18 and 27 Suivez Moi pulled too hard early in his races to give himself any chance of being involved in the finish, but a further outing on September 27 at Ayr on soft ground took some of the fizz out of him and he won a week later at Nottingham, beating one of the ante-post favourites for the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket. Suivez Moi himself ran in the Cesarewitch a month later, taking in a race at Wolverhampton en route in which he was third. During his fortnightly outings in November and December 1990 and January 1991, he was difficult to settle in his races and ran without distinction, but by February 1991, the horse still seemed as fresh as ever. On February 4 he was second in a 3 mile handicap hurdle on the all-weather at Southwell; on February 15 he was down the field at the same venue on the flat; three days later he was back to win a handicap hurdle by a head; a week later he was second giving 18 lb to the winner. Thus ended one of the busiest campaigns seen by a racehorse in the modern era. It is one of the ironies of sport that many injuries are sustained not in the heat of battle, but on the training grounds, and so it proved with Suivez Moi, who injured a suspensory ligament at home during a routine exercise canter.

Retirement

Suivez Moi took a year to recover from the injury, and came back in April 1992, when he ran twice including taking third place in the longest race on the flat, "The Pontefract Marathon", before a recurrence of the suspensory injury forced him into retirement.

Suivez Moi was no Mill Reef. Timeform described him as "moderate" and "poor" and all the horse's successes came in the lowest class of flat races and modest handicap hurdles. Suivez Moi never won "best turned out", and can hardly be said to have filled the eye, standing at a mere 15 hands. Indeed if he did attract the attention in the preliminaries it would be more likely to be because of his scruffy appearance that testified to his intense dislike of being groomed. This was much to the embarrassment of his trainer, Conrad Allen, who in every other respect had every reason to be grateful to such a stalwart. Suivez Moi deserves his place in the thoroughbred pantheon because of his record in the 15 months from December 1989 to February 1991: 30 Races, 499 Furlongs (62 miles), 6 wins. He was retired to Leicestershire where he hunted with the Quorn for many years.

References



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