Bonecrusher – the horse who raced into equine immortality – was immortalised in bronze when a sculpture was unveiled at Ellerslie Racecourse in New Zealand in March 2018. The first New Zealand trained racehorse to win $1million in prizemoney, Bonecrusher is best remembered for his victory in the 1986 WS Cox Plate over fellow kiwi Waverley Star.

Bonecrusher’s story starts well before then. Bred by Bill Punch, Bonecrusher (Pag-Asa-Imitation, by Oakville) began his life in the grassy paddocks of New Zealand. Pag-Asa was a grandson of Star Kingdom who ran third in the Gr.2 Queensland Sires’ Produce, while Imitation only raced twice (the exact same race record as her dam Snow Bird). Bonecrusher’s pedigree didn’t exactly inspire the buyers at the yearling sales, and he was purchased by Peter Mitchell for $3,250 ($7,800 in 2018 dollars). It’s not until we go back to Bonecrusher’s fourth dam that we find the stakes winner Sir Henry (11 wins up to Gr.3 level).

Read more in Bluebloods 2019: April Issue