He was renowned for his fighting qualities but this was one particular battle Northerly could not win.
The champion galloper was euthanased on Wednesday night, aged 15, following failing to recover from a serious colic attack.
His death came in the identical week the sport lost yet another great in dashing frontrunner Vo Rogue.
Like Vo Rogue, Northerly rose to greatness from humble beginnings and captured the heart of a nation.
Pulled from his dam at birth, motionless and cold, Northerly’s story was almost above before it started.
He only came to daily life immediately after his proprietor Neville Duncan massaged his heart and it was that exact same heart for which Northerly grew to become renowned.
Greg Childs, who had an unblemished record aboard the star, mentioned he possessed all the qualities of a champion.
“It really is like all very good horses, their tenacity, their aggression, their will to win. Northerly was specifically like that,” Childs mentioned on Sydney’s Sky Sports Radio on Thursday.
“He never travelled like a winner during the run but it was when the chips have been down when he would lift and he did that on several occasions.”
Educated by revered horseman Fred Kersley, Northerly started his career at Ascot in Perth in the autumn of 2000 and landed the initial of his nine Group One particular wins in the Railway Stakes later that year.
Claiming his very first Australian Cup at Flemington in 2001, Northerly became a normal in Melbourne in the course of carnival time.
He overhauled one more champion in Sunline to win the 2001 Cox Plate and returned the following year to defend his title.
Damien Oliver was aboard for the first Cox Plate victory with Childs riding Sunline and Childs stated it was testament to the gelding’s courage that he won.
“I kicked clear on the turn, Damien was below the bat on Northerly and going nowhere but he received up and beat me proper on the line,” Childs mentioned.
“If you watch the replay you would never ever have thought he’d win that Cox Plate but that’s how courageous and tough he was.
“He never travelled like a winner but constantly was the last man standing at the end.”
In amongst his Cox Plate victories, Northerly showed he wasn’t just a excess weight-for-age star when he shouldered 58kg to a memorable Caulfield Cup win.
Sydney by no means saw the very best of him.
Northerly suffered shock defeats at his only three begins there in the autumn of 2003, like his narrow second to Freemason in The BMW after the pair staged a stirring duel up the Rosehill straight.
It was one particular of the handful of shut fights Northerly didn’t win.
“Northerly was a good old-fashioned champion,” Kersley said in the book on Northerly’s daily life.
“He did it tough and never quit.
“For me there will in no way be one more Northerly. He stands alone.”
All up Northerly raced 37 occasions for 19 wins before his profession was ended by a tendon injury.
He was the 2003 Horse Of The Year and is a member of racing’s Hall Of Fame.
Childs stated he felt privileged to have played a part in the champion’s story.
“I am just thankful I was portion of Northerly’s wonderful occupation,” Childs said.
“The Australian Cup, the Caulfield Cup. 6 rides for six wins.
“It was particular.”