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Union Rags again: Unlucky or does he have curse of Gorytus?

What’s a Gorytus?

A Gorytus is a case for holding arrows.

Who’s Gorytus?

He was a gorgeous physical specimen by Nijinsky out of Glad Rags, trained by Dick Hern for Alice duPont Mills in England. Gorytus won his first two starts at 2 in a manner that made grown men wax poetic, but he lost his third and final start of the year in a shocker. At 3, he ran fifth in the Guineas, and he never won another race again. He raced twice at 4 in Florida, was second in a stakes, and then was sent to stud at Coolmore with a record of two wins from eight starts. Later he was sold off to Japan.  Read this article for the Gorytus story, but if you don’t have the time, I have extracted a quote from Tony Morris that explains that Gorytus the horse had none of the arrows in his quiver it was assumed he’d had:

He raced on in America at four where, now trained by Woody Stephens, his irresolute ways caught the eye of the Racing Post‘s Tony Morris. ‘I went racing at Hialeah, and who should turn up there but Gorytus,’ Morris recalls. ‘I remember the race vividly. Gorytus came to win, then gave it away to an inferior challenger, Out Of Hock. I quizzed his trainer about this cowardly display, and he said “Nope, didn’t look very genuine, did he?” ‘

How is Gorytus related to Union Rags?

Read this, Page 4.

What did Gorytus look like?

See here.

Does Union Rags have the curse of Gorytus?

We’ll find out in the Belmont Stakes.

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4 thoughts on “Union Rags again: Unlucky or does he have curse of Gorytus?

  1. Alan Porter says:

    Anyone who was around the stable of Major (later Sir RIchard) Dick Hern at the time would recall that Gorytus worked like an absolute world-beater. The general assumption at the time was that he had been “got at” before the Dewhurst, and there was a story about him passing an enormous motion before the race. Given his subsequent efforts (or lack or effort) it was probably the first manifestation of his lack of enthusiasm.

  2. Yes, though Hern was convinced he’d been doped to the day he died, the colt’s groom and exercise rider and others have since said no one got to him. And indeed, his lackluster racing thereafter seems to prove, as you note and others have as well, that he didn’t really enjoy racing and would find ways to lose. He’d made what looked a winning move in the Guineas, too. Just as he did the day Tony saw him.

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