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Bonnie's Chance, who ranks as one of the greatest mares ever to complete in NZ, has gone into honourable retirement.

The champion Majestic Chance-Bonnie Countess mare had her last start at Addington on December 30, and went out on a high note when she took the NZ Standarbred Breeders' stakes for the third successive year. Locked up three back on the fence behind Hilarious Guest and Jilaire's Chance, it was late in the straight before the gap opened along the rails which enabled Bonnie's Chance to sneak through and claim a length victory over Hilarious Guest in 2:01.2.

Following that race, trainer-driver Richard Brosnan said he was tempted to have another tilt at the Auckland Cup in February, the only major race which has eluded her. But a week later, the decision was taken, after consultation with owners Mesdames Bonnie McGarry and Karen Grice, to retire her. "It was a hard decision to make, but for the good of the horse it was the right one," Richard Brosnan said last week.

Bonnie's Chance, who has been troubled with leg problems for some time now, retires with $357,000 in stakes, second only to another grand mare, Delightful Lady, on the list of stakes winners to race solely in NZ. She started 75 times for 32 wins and 20 placings, including the 1982 NZ Cup. Her victory over Hands Down in 1:56.2 for the mile at Washdyke makes her the equal fastest miler (with Lord Module) in a race in NZ, and she shares with Steel Jaw the record for a mobile 2600 metres at Addington - 3:15.4.

Bonnie's Chance has been served by Lordship and had gone 21 days at the time of her December 30 win at Addington. He dam, Bonnie Countess, recently foaled a colt to the Albatross stallion Sholty Imp, and is to be mated with Lordship.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 10Jan84

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