WA star chaser Vice Grip deservedly went out a winner last Saturday evening, competing in his final race start and posted a slick time of 29.74, which was also the best of the night over the 520m.
The son of Aston Dee Bee and Bells Are Ringin also celebrated his fourth birthday yesterday and will now live a life of luxury, having now claimed his own king-sized bed.
He will be available at stud in due course and as a son of the third-highest rank sire by the number of wins for 2022, his services should be well-received by breeders.
The 34kg chaser affectionately known as “Curly”, commenced his career in Victoria under the care of Gerard O'Keefe and cracked his maiden victory at Healesville over the 350m at just his third start. He won at a variety of tracks and distances while down south, including over the 650m at Shepparton, 650m at Warragul and the 600m at The Meadows.
After finishing fourth in the 2021 G3 Darwin Cup Final, he made the trip West to the kennels of Adam Smithson and quickly caught the eye at his fourth start at the Cannington circuit, where he broke the 30-second barrier, clocking 29.79. Less than two months later in October, he claimed his first feature final, being the G2 All Stars Sprint Final, quickly stamping his authority as a forced to be reckoned with.
Over consecutive weeks, the black flash continued to lower his time standard over the 520m, eventually posting a sizzling 29.42 personal best during March of 2022 when taking out the G1 Perth Cup Final by a sensational six and a half-lengths, also delivering Smithson his maiden G1 glory.
His next feature final win came less than a month later, saluting in the Lew Dorsa Memorial Trophy, before heading back east for a tilt at the Million Dollar Chase series at Wentworth Park. After an impressive steward's trial of 29.77 over the 520m, he joined an elite group of chasers in defeating the sports highest prizemoney earner Wow She's Fast, in a brilliant display of strength and determination.
Upon returning home, he claimed the Cannington Sprint Gift, G3 Mandurah Cup and the G2 Cannington All Stars Sprint, before heading to Sandown to contest the prestigious Group 1 Melbourne Cup series. After exiting from box five in his heat, “Curly” produced a sensational performance in the latter stages of the race in very testing conditions, to score by three quarters of a length over Nitro Bale in 29.63. Having no luck in the final and after finishing fourth in the G1 Hobart Thousand final, he returned home and farewelled his legion fans around the country with an all-the-way display from box seven, bringing the curtain down on a truly glittering career that saw him gain a cult following, following a flow of tributes dedicated to his retirement annoucement across social media.