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AS racing’s current grand old man Isorich nears the end of his career, his “predecessor” Mustard has passed away at 25 years of age.

Mustard, who remarkably raced up until 14 years of age, died recently on the Somersby property on the Central Coast previously owned by his late trainer John McNair, who lost his life in 2019 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer.

The Entertainment Grounds director Reg Delaney related the story of Mustard’s passing at his club’s The Coast stand-alone metropolitan meeting yesterday.

“A few of us were at the property only a few weeks ago looking at young horses, and saw Mustard,” Delaney said.

“When John McNair sold the property to John O’Connor, it was a condition of the sale that Mustard remain to live out the rest of his days.

“He has since passed away, and is now buried there.

“What a remarkable horse he was, racing right through from a two-year-old to still competing when he was 14.”

McNair, who also trained the brilliant sprinter Hay List, bought Mustard for $16,000 at the Gold Coast as a yearling in 1999.

The gelding faced the starter 131 times for 17 wins (between 1100m and 1600m) and 30 placings, and earned $811,617 in prizemoney.

Mustard was ridden by then apprentice Hugh Bowman when he finished third on debut in a 2YO Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on June 3, 2000 – the same year Sydney hosted the Summer Olympics - when a $26 chance.

He broke through at his sixth start in a Hawkesbury Maiden (1200m) on January 10, 2001 as a three-year-old.

Mustard had a real penchant for Hawkesbury; five of his first six wins being at the provincial track. He was ridden in one of them by now Sky Racing Brisbane racing analyst Bernadette Cooper, who was also aboard when the gelding clinched a city breakthrough at Rosehill on February 24, 2002.

Two of Mustard’s victories were in 1100m Group 3 features at Rosehill in 2006 – the Star Kingdom Stakes and Concorde Stakes. He was ridden by Jim Cassidy and Darren Beadman respectively.

He also ran a close second in the 2004 Pacesetter Stakes (1200m) on his home track to Takeover Target, after whom the race was subsequently renamed and run again yesterday when won by ruling Stradbroke Handicap favorite Think About It.

Mustard, who was foaled on September 29, 1997, was retired after tailing the field home in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m) at Gosford on May 3, 2012.

He had been placed two starts earlier, also on his home track, as a 14-year-old.

HOOFNOTE: Under Australian racing rules, horses now are ineligible to race, trial or be trained once they turn 13 years of age.

Wyong’s remarkable 12-year-old Isorich is scheduled to line up for his 156th start in a Benchmark 64 Handicap (1350m) on his home track on Thursday.

He has been placed at his last two starts at home, and his current earnings stand at $826,525.

*Words John Curtis May 7, 2023 - Pics Bradley Photos*

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