Racing Victoria (RV) together with Premier of Victoria and Minister for Racing, Dr Denis Napthine, today officially welcomed the state’s most famous grey horse Subzero back to public duty and in recognition of his service to Victorian racing, named a newly programmed grey-race series in his honour.

To be held for the first time during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, the Subzero Challenge will be a three-part greys-only race series which extends upon the popular Crown Oaks Day greys race which has been staged at Flemington since 1996.

The additional races have been programmed at Caulfield and Moonee Valley and will be held on Schweppes Thousand Guineas Day on Wednesday, 16 October and at Moonee Valley on Sportingbet Manikato Stakes Night on Friday, 25 October.

The Subzero Challenge will be worth a total $280,000 and include a $10,000 bonus to the trainer of the horse which accumulates the most points across the series.

RV’s General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said the 1992 Melbourne Cup winner, who also spent 15 years as a Clerk of the Course, had made a remarkable contribution to Victorian racing since his retirement in 1994.

“Subzero is one of racing’s most recognisable public faces and following his recent health scare, Racing Victoria determined it an appropriate time to celebrate and acknowledge the incredible contribution of Subzero to Victorian racing,” Carpenter said.

“The series extends upon the time-honoured and hugely popular Oaks Day greys-race and will offer more memorable moments for punters and racegoers as it is staged during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival for the first time.

“The Subzero Challenge also gives us the opportunity to acknowledge Subzero for his service to the industry as the face of Racing Victoria’s Community Education in Schools Program, a role he has held since 2006. During this time Subzero has visited more than 300 schools with the support of owner and long-time handler, Graham Salisbury.

“Today we officially welcome Subzero back to public duty, thank him for his contribution to Victorian racing and cement his place for perpetuity with the naming of the Subzero Challenge.”

Victorian Premier and Minister for Racing, Dr Napthine, paid tribute to Subzero, the rugged steely grey racehorse who has contributed to Victorian racing for more than 21 years.

“Subzero exemplified the tough, resilient type in racing whose never-give-up attitude made up for the talent some of his equine competitors had in spades,” Dr Napthine said.

“His post-racing contribution as a Clerk of the Course horse and now as racing’s schools and community ambassador have made him one of Australia’s most-loved racehorses.

“It is a great honour for Subzero to have a race series named after him and also recognition of all of those who have looked after him during his lengthy career, particularly Graham Salisbury.”

The Subzero Challenge, for grey horses only, is as follows:

  • Caulfield, Wednesday 16 October Heat 1: Race-Tech Subzero Challenge, $80,000 BM90 Handicap (1400m)
  • Moonee Valley, Friday 25 October Heat 2: Subzero Challenge, $100,000 BM90 Handicap (1500m)
  • Flemington, Thursday 7 November Heat 3: TCL 4K UHD Smart TV Subzero Challenge, $100,000 BM90 Handicap (1400m)

Points will be allocated in each leg as follows; first - 10 pts; second - 7 pts; third - 4 pts; fourth - 2 pts; all other starters - 1 pt.