STARS OF THE PAST - HEIDI.
HEIDI 21 April 1995. Bayolidaan-Irlandaise Owner-J McAllister.
Heidi is a French bred gelding who raced five times in his native France, three times on the flat and twice over jumps, before joining Micky in 1999, His final run before arriving at Oakwood Stables was a winning debut over fences, in a four year old chase at Pau. That win would prove to be the first of 10 consecutive races where Heidi would not finish out of the first two. He made his British debut at Carlisle in November 1999, after a 10 months break, finishing second under Brian Harding. It was another five months until he was seen again, returning at Carlisle in April, winning a novice hurdle by 11 lengths. At Wetherby 18 days later, he carried his penalty with ease, winning by a length and a half, in a conditional jockeys race. He completed a quick hat-trick at Perth in June 2000, when winning a four runner novice at odds of 1/5. His final run over hurdles, before going chasing, was a handicap debut off 118, when finishing second, again at Wetherby.
Heidi made his chase debut at Newcastle in November 2000, he went down by a head, and then filled the same position on Boxing Day back at Wetherby. It would be his next appearance in January 2001, at Doncaster in the prestigious 'Great Yorkshire Chase,' that would prove the highlight of his career. Making great use of a featherweight 10 stone 2lb, he won the £70,000 race, under Dean Gallagher. Heidi wasn't finished there, as just three weeks later he was back in the winners enclosure again, winning at Newcastle, this time in the hands of Adrian Maguire. Heidi had now run nine times for the yard, and had never finished out of the first two.His final race of the 2001 season was an audacious attempt at the Whitbread Gold Cup at Sandown, where he ran his usual game race, but probably didn't see out the three miles and five furlongs.
When Micky took a break from training in the Summer of 2001, Heidi was transferred in to the care of Andy Crook, and after a pipe opener to get fit, he proved himself as good as ever by finishing second in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby, on December 27th. He had a further three runs for Andy, culminating with a second place back at Wetherby in April 2002, to that wonderful old horse Grey Abbey.
After that race the owners decided that a change of scenery was required, and Heidi was sent to be trained in Wales by Lisa Williiamson. He showed little in his first two runs for the yard, but a return to Wetherby on December 7th, saw him finish a good second from a reduced mark of 118. That was his last race for 15 months, until returning in a hunters chase at Bangor in March 2004, where he finished second. It was back in to handicap company again after that, finishing third at the same track. He had three more runs for the Williamson yard, failing to get competitive on any occasion, before returning to the Micky Hammond yard to see out the remainder of his career.
He had his comeback run for the yard in January 2005, winning by four lengths under Tony Dobbin, but this would prove to be his final win.He was placed in his next two races, and again on his return in the Autumn of 2005. but as the age of 11 approached, he wasn't getting any faster. He raced a further six times through to May 2006, bowing out at Cartmel, by finishing sixth under Barry Keniry.
Heidi retired to a life in the sunshine with his owner. He now spends his days in Alvor, in the Algarve, Portugal.