Harness racing’s heaven gained another champion this week in Flashing Red who passed away, aged 26.
What a racehorse he was.
He won 38 races and placed 57 times in 171 starts.
I was lucky to be around Flashing Red when he campaigned in races such as the Miracle Mile and Treuer Memorial in Sydney.
His previous trainer Stuart Hunter would stable at my Grandfather’s property each time he travelled south from his Queensland base.
Hunter also trained the top pacer Slug Of Jin who raced in Australasia’s top features such as the Miracle Mile, Inter Dominion and the Hunter and Victoria Cups.
Slug Of Jin retired in 2000 and shortly after, Hunter found Flashing Red.
Flashing Red began his career in Tasmania as a two-year-old.
He did his first three years of racing down there and won 16 races.
In 2003 he began racing in Queensland and won four of his first seven starts in his new state, including the Slug Of Jin Stakes as well as a second in the Queensland Pacing Championship to Double Identity, beating the likes of Smooth Satin and Jofess.
Flashing Red then had his first Sydney campaign targeting the Miracle Mile but was unplaced in the Cordina Sprint.
That campaign he finished third in the Treuer Memorial to Double Identity and Smooth Satin.
What an era he raced in and this was just the start of his Grand Circuit career.
He won many feature races and won in every state of Australia.
However, some of his biggest achievements were abroad where he won back-to-back New Zealand Cups in 2006 and 2007.
He first won the Ashburton Flying Stakes in New Zealand in 2006 before his first NZ Cup triumph.
Flashing Red then returned to Australia where he won two heats of the Inter Dominion back in Tasmania and finished fourth in the final to the great Blacks A Fake.
He then ventured back to NZ in 2007 and won the Auckland Cup and that same year as a 10-year-old won his second NZ Cup in record time for the 3200m. His mile rate off a 15m handicap was 1:59.5.
He raced in all the top events across Australasia and in 2008 was inducted into the Queensland Harness Racing Hall of Fame.
Flashing Red was inducted into the Tasmanian Harness Racing Hall Of Fame in 2014.
After his racing career, Flashing Red stood at stud and had nine starters in Australia for eight winners.
He was tough and proved his staying abilities more than once.
Thanks for the memories Flashing Red.
by Amanda Rando, for Harnesslink