Remarkable Return After Seven Years

Seven years in the wilderness is a very long time and ten-year-old pacer Hezgot Fusion Power made a remarkable return to racing after an absence of 2061 days when he won $7500 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night.

He was so fat late last year that Coolup farrier and harness racing trainer Hayden Reeves feared that he would have a heart attack when he was jogging him.

A winner of two races from 13 starts in New Zealand, Hezgot Fusion Power was purchased by clients of Bunbury trainer John Graham and he impressed greatly for his new connections with three wins and a second from seven starts as a three-year-old, as well as a sound seventh behind Im Victorious in the WA Derby at Gloucester Park in April 2012.

The Derby run was followed by a second at Bunbury and a win at Harvey. He then fractured a sesamoid bone in a hind leg, and after surgery had a year off.

“He was brought back into work after that, but broke down again,” said Reeves. “Then he kinda got left because a whole bunch of babies were coming through the Graham stable.

“I was shoeing for John one day last November and he said ‘do you want a challenge, a project?’ I’m always looking for horses and said I was up for about anything. John told me about the horse’s history and said that he was really, really fat. I asked how fat a horse could be and he said ‘he’s exceptionally fat.’

“We decided to take him and when we went to pick him up, we had to take up two bays in the float by removing the divider. He was just enormous, and my wife Ash said that if she had known the horse was that fat there was no way that she would have agreed for me to take him.

“And since we had got him home, he’s basically been on a starvation diet just hay in the morning and at night. He is such a good doer that it’s still a job to keep the weight off him.

“However, you wouldn’t know that he’s a ten-year-old; he’s so athletic. I started tracking him in January and have brought him along very slowly. It’s amazing that he has made it (to this stage).”

Hezgot Fusion Power, a 9/2 chance, was not bustled out from barrier six by Bailey McDonough and the oldtimer settled down in sixth position in the one-wide line. McDonough urged Hezgot Fusion Power forward, three wides, after 250m and he ambled to the breeze.

Hezgot Fusion Power took a narrow lead 250m from home and he was not extended in winning from the pacemaker and 11/8 favourite Glowing Report.

The win gave Reeves his first city success since Edna Anne, driven by Nigel Johns, charged home from last at the 700m to get up and beat Kamwood Girl by a head in an event for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on August 13, 2010. Three starts earlier, Edna Anne, a $123 outsider, ran on from 11th in the middle stages to win the Group 1 $100,000 State Sires Series final for fillies to give Reeves his biggest moment in harness racing.