A NOTED absentee from the Inter Dominion nominations, champion trotter Keystone Del has been retired.
Sadly for connections the decision to cut the Championship from the racing calendar in 2012 cost Keystone Del the opportunity add the series to his remarkable resume.
Making his Australian debut in December 2012, Keystone Del became the nation’s premier squaregaiter within the next 18 months.
Capturing his first Group One at Tabcorp Park Menangle when prepared by Nicole Molander, Keystone Del won six top-shelf events under the horsewoman’s care.
The gelding’s victories during that period include the Great Southern Star, which replaced the Inter Dominion as Australasia’s premier trotting feature.
Following his success in the Scotch Notch Memorial in Melton on October 31, 2015, Keystone Del was transferred to Brent Lilley’s stable where he continued his domination.
Boasting 15 wins from his first 17 starts for Lilley, the son of Dr Ronerail annexed another four Group Ones, two Group Twos and nine Group Threes.
Hampered by numerous niggling injuries since May 2016 – which saw him limited to just eight more starts – Keystone Del was retired a few days ago.
The veteran returned from an 11-month break last July, with his two outings netting a pair of seconds behind his stablemate, Kyvalley Blur.
Keystone Del bows out of racing with a record of 42 wins and 13 placings from 71 starts for earnings of $1,063,5260, making him the southern hemisphere’s sixth richest trotter.
“At this stage of his life and career when we fix one niggle with him another surfaces,” Lilley said. “He’s done such a great job and been a champion for so long that he doesn’t deserve to be an also-ran.
“The reality is when he was at the top of his game Kyvalley Blur could never beat him.
“He already had a lot of good wins before he came to us but it was a big thrill to win the Grand Prix as lot of people had written him off.”
While Keystone Del will be enjoying life in a paddock Lilley hopes to have eight trotters contesting the Inter Dominion, including Kyvalley Blur.
Nominations were released yesterday, with 88 hopefuls looking to gain a berth in the Championship, which is programmed to begin on December 1.
Click here to see the list of Inter Dominion nominations.