Injury Spells Career End For Sunset Spitfire

After only 17 race starts, the racing career of superstar West Australian sprinter Sunset Spitfire is officially now over, cruelled by ongoing injuries.

Peter Davis

27 October 2021

After only 17 starts, the racing career of potential superstar West Australian sprinter Sunset Spitfire is over.

The son of Mepunga Blazer turned heads from his first trial and then maiden win at Cannington just over 12 months ago.

Not only was Sunset Spitfire neigh untouchable at Cannington and Mandurah, his 29.52 solo trial at The Meadows on December 19 – in preparation for the Group 1 Silver Chief Classic – had Victorian pundits agog.

His stunning 10-length 29.45 maiden victory at Cannington was the first of 10 wins at the Perth metro venue – all significantly under the 30-seconds mark while his personal best (29.34) is only .08 outside Campini’s track record.

“Since last racing in early June we’re tried every remedy known to man and given him extra time to be better but, after every trial, there’s an issue,” trainer Dave Hobby said.

“His past three trials over 302m at Mandurah have been 16.77, 16.80 and on Monday he posted 16.75 … the track record I think is 16.70.

“After the surgery in Melbourne [for bone chips in the wrist] he won at Mandurah in 22.34 and led all-the-way at Cannington and won in very fast time [29.58] with Tommy Shelby chasing him home.

“That gave confidence that the wrist was 100 per cent but the stopper bone and tendon issue in his wrist then flared.

“He’s just too fast for his own good.”

Hobby knew he had something very special before Sunset Spitfire raced with the black dog breaking the 405m record at Mandurah in a solo trial in June last year.

What the veteran trainer would not have expected is a 17-start career which was spread over only 11 months.

While his racing days might be over, Sunset Spitfire is being registered as a stud dog.

“His DNA has been done and we are working him today so frozen semen will be available once those vials are registered,” the veteran trainer continued.

“I will use him with my best bitches … he’s a tall, 35 kilogram dog with a magnificent temperament.

“The times he ran were quite rare and he had a fantastic record yet, injury free, I’m confident he would have won Group 1s.

“Vials will be sent interstate if required but we know this is a very competitive marketplace and there are some outstanding young sires out there.”