The stellar racing career of dual Group One winner Prowess (NZ) (Proisir) is over.
The daughter of Proisir developed a foot issue and has undergone treatment at a rehabilitation centre, however, a veterinary examination spelled the end to her racing career, with a focus now turning towards a breeding career for New Zealand’s reigning Champion Middle Distance horse.
“The mare has developed a foot issue following her return from Australia,” vet Greg Quin said in a statement.
“Initially the mare showed signs consistent with a mild foot bruising. She appeared to respond well to management changes and returned to the stable with a view to return to work. Due to persistent signs of some increased heat in the left fore foot, and very low-grade discomfort she transitioned to a local rehabilitation centre.
“As signs of increased heat in the left front foot, survey radiographs were obtained. These showed that there has been a shift in her pedal bone position consistent with laminitis over the last few weeks. Due to the degree of changes present in the left foot, the mare will require a period of specialist farriery treatment and rehabilitation.
“Once changes of laminitis have developed to this degree, it is very uncommon for horses to return to the stresses of racing.
“Her response to treatment will be monitored closely over the next weeks and months and the current aim is to restore her foot to a condition that will set her up for a breeding career.”
Purchased by trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood out of Hallmark Stud’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale for $230,000, Prowess went on to win eight and place in three of her 12 starts and accrued more than $1.5 million in prizemoney.
She won her sole start as a juvenile before returning to win first-up at three before placing in the Gr.3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) and Gr.1 New Zealand Bloodstock 2000 Guineas (1600m) in the spring.
On New Year’s Day she won the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) at Pukekohe before returning to the South Auckland track later that month to claim the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m). She continued her winning ways in the Gr.2 David and Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa a month later before claiming her first Group One in the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2050m) at weight-for-age.
Australia was beckoning the talented filly and she was able to show her talent across the Tasman when claiming the Gr.1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill by 3-1/4 lengths.
Prowess had an injury-plagued start to her four-year-old preparation, which curtailed plans to tackle the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m), however, after a runner-up result in the Gr.3 Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) at Hawera, she was still able to make the undercard at The Valley’s Cox Plate meeting where she took out the Gr.2 Crystal Mile (1600m).
She ended her spring campaign at Flemington in the Gr.1 Champions Stakes (2000m) where she posted her first unplaced result of her career when finishing sixth behind Kiwi-bred mare Atishu.
James and Wellwood are disappointed to lose Prowess from their racing team but are looking back fondly on what has been a stellar racing career.
“We are devastated to lose her, but you do look at the record she had and the good times we had. You have just got to be stoked to have been involved with her,” Wellwood said.
“Fortunately, the owners made the most of each and every run, they enjoyed it all. They had some great times with friends and family and made some really good new connections.
“A lot of people don’t get to experience a horse like her in a lifetime, so I am very fortunate to have been involved.”
Wellwood said there were many highlights in her racing career, with her debut win feeling just as significant as her later successes.
“Her first win was a huge thrill. She won so well and especially with horses you buy yourself, it is always vindicating when they come out and show ability,” he said.
“The Karaka Million was touted to be the best of the best three-year-olds and she delivered, and to go on and win two Group Ones, including one in Australia, was incredible.
“To come back as a four-year-old to win the Crystal Mile was great. The owners had 30 to 40 mates over in Melbourne, so they all got to enjoy that.
“She did some incredible things in a short career. There were a lot of special moments with her.”
Attention will now shift to a breeding career with Prowess, with Wellwood hoping some of her progeny come into his care to train.
“The silver lining is the fact that we have still got her. Going forward, she should have a good broodmare career,” he said.