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Ad Hitotsu ridden by John Allen wins the 2022 Australian Guineas. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Derby and Guineas winner Hitotsu retired

31 January 2023 Written by VRC

Group 1 Penfolds Victoria Derby and Australian Guineas winner Hitotsu has been retired after a leg infection has closed the door on his brief but incredible racing career.

Hitotsu was originally purchased by Cranbourne trainer Wendy Kelly at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $100,000 before a group involving Ozzie Kheir purchased him late in his two-year-old season.

Under the guidance of co-trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, he became the first horse since Mahogany in 1994 to win the VRC Derby and then return to Flemington in the Autumn and win the Australian Guineas.

He’s the third horse in history to achieve the Flemington Group 1 double, also becoming the 39th horse to win the VRC Derby/ATC Derby classic double, and third since the ATC Derby was moved to the Autumn in 1979.

Video caption: Hitotsu winning the 2021 Penfolds Victoria Derby (2500m)


The son of Maurice, who has not raced since winning the ATC Derby at Randwick in April last year, sustained a second leg injury that subsequently became infected.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained star has had the infection flushed and is now recovering in preparation for a stud career with a stud farm yet to be determined.

"While it is incredibly disappointing, he provided us with some of the most memorable moments we've enjoyed on a racetrack in his short career," Maher said.

"He is one of the most talented horses I've ever trained and I hope one day I can train his progeny." - Ciaron Maher

Video caption: Hitotsu winning the 2022 Australian Guineas (1600m)


After winning a 1350m Donald maiden at his first start for Maher and Eustace, Hitotsu finished fifth in the Caulfield Guineas before winning Group 1 races at what would prove to be his final three starts.

After a brilliant win in the Penfolds Victoria Derby (2500m) he was spelled and returned to win the Australian Guineas (1600m) before his fighting win in the ATC Derby (2400m) and retires a winner of half of his eight starts and $3,179,250 in stakes.

Owner Ozzie Kheir was glowing in his praise of the four-year-old. "Hitotsu has taken us on an amazing journey in such a short period of time and showed that special horses can be trained in an unconventional way and that's all credit to the stable that weren't afraid to try something different," Kheir said.

"We will now start the process of finding him the best place to continue his next chapter and follow his progeny for many years to come.” - Ozzie Kheir


HITOTSU

Brown Horse by Maurice (JPN) out of Love Is Fickle (Foaled 11th September 2018)

Owners:  Mr A Kheir, Mr K J Payne, Mrs V M Payne, Mr J A O’Neill, Mr V Kheir, Mr A J Willoughby, Mr G J P Van Ameyden, Mr L Caminiti, Mr J M Simmons, Mr D Edmonds, Carty Racing, Mr D F Degenhardt, Mr D Buzadzic

Trainer:  Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Career:  8 starts - 4 wins

Prizemoney:  $3,179,250

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