We always hear when the champions of the track retire after the curtains close on their dazzling careers on the Group racing stage. However, it is not to often we get to recognise and applaud the careers of the iron dogs that race week in, week out.
Yo Cool Maxie was never a champion, but a tougher campaigner you will struggle to find. The son of Big Daddy Cool and Be My Girl has been one of the most consistent chasers in New South Wales in recent years and, as of Wednesday, his racetrack career is now over.
Trained by Barry and Roz Evans of Moonbi, Yo Cool Maxie faced the starter on 110 occasions and amassed the fantastic record of 32 wins and 35 minor placings.
Roz said that they decided to retire their kennel star after he led at Maitland Wednesday before fading to finish fourth, after which it was discovered that he had sustained an injury.
“He actually ran the fastest first section of the day. He led around the home turn and half way down the straight he baulked and steadied up, running fourth. He tore his groin”, Roz explained.
“He tore it quite badly and he’s only a month off turning five. We had pretty much decided we would call it a day soon and I think the groin injury just made our mind up, it was just the final thing”.
Yo Cool Maxie, affectionately known as Scooby, was bred by Roz and Barry and is owned by the Scooby Six Syndicate, managed by Pete Hyson. He is from a fantastic litter which also includes Little Ed, the former 400 metre track record holder at Maitland.
“Scooby wasn’t the fastest in his litter, Little Ed was, but he was the soundest dog and he was more versatile, he just kept going.
“He won the Armidale Cup, the Gold Collar at Maitland and he broke two track records, one at Gunnedah and one at Armidale, all this year or late last year.”
Yo Cool Maxie won on seven different tracks throughout his career with his last victory being a 22.61 triumph at The Gardens in August.
Roz and Barry, who have been together for 30 years, have endless memories of ‘Scooby’ on the racetrack, but rate two of his victories as being particularly special.
“When he ran 29.94 on the Paws of Thunder night at Wentworth Park. He ran a faster first and second section that night than the winner of the Paws of Thunder did.
“That Paws of Thunder night and when he won the Gold Collar at Maitland this year stand out.
“His brother, Little Ed, had won it (Gold Collar) two years before in 2012 and Yo Cool Maxie ran second to him that year. It is rather unique that two litter brothers could win the Gold Collar and especially being two years apart, I don’t think it had ever been done before.
“There were a lot of nice races that he won, but those two are definitely standouts for Barry and I.”
Roz and Barry are especially thankful for the assistance shown to them by veterinarians Peter Yore, John Newell and Reece, from their local clinic on Piper Street, for all their efforts in keeping Yo Cool Maxie healthy and sound throughout his career.
As for what lies ahead for Scooby, Roz said that he will live out his life in luxury at their home with lots of pats and the odd ice-cream.
“As a dog he is very much loved by all of our family. He has a huge personality, but he is a quiet little dog.
“He has lots of funny little ways about him that endears him to people and the children love him, of course, because he is so quiet.
“Scooby is everyones darling and we would never not have him here, he would fret to death.”
And how would Roz sum up the incredible ride Yo Cool Maxie took them on? Two words.