THE PASSING OF DEEP WATER AT THE AGE OF 26.
Sadly I have to report the passing of Deep Water one of the best horses ever trained by Micky, he lost his life to colic last Sunday, assistant trainer Gemma Hogg was very close to him. Of all the hundreds of horses that have been in her care, he was one who held a very special place.
DEEP WATER 18 January 1994 Diesis-Water Course Owner-The Country Set.
When you list the top 10 horses to have been trained at Oakwood Stables, then Deep Water comfortably takes his place. He was bred to be a potential Group 1 performer over one mile, to one mile, two furlongs, being by Diesis out of an unraced Irish River mare. Owned by HRH Prince Fahd Salmon, he was put in to training at two with Paul Cole. He raced on eight occasions as a two, and three year old, his best effort coming at Salisbury when finishing second, earning a BHA mark of 72.
Deep Water arrived in Middleham at the end of October 1997, after being purchased at the Newmarket Sales, and was immediately gelded in preparation for his jumping career. He made the perfect start over jumps, when making a winning debut at Kelso,in January 1998, and followed up 13 days later at the same venue, beating future top class staying chaser Robbo by 14 lengths.He made it three appearances in a row at the Scottish track, when tackling the Grade 2 hurdle, finishing a very respectable second, but it was his next race at Aintree, at the Grand National meeting in the Glenlivet Hurdle, Grade 1 race, that he took his form to a new level, beating Martin Pipe's high class Rainbow Frontier by an easy 14 lengths. Deep water ended his juvenile hurdling career with an official rating of 150.
He was off the track until the following February of 1999, and in his first two runs back failed to beat an opponent in either race, in both the Grade 2 at Sandown, and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, but at Haydock in February he was back in the winners enclosure, when winning the Grade 2 Hurdle under Brian Harding. He then took in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, but a mark of 144, saw him weakening from the second last, and then he had his one and only flat race for us, finishing second of 10 over one mile, and three furlongs at Hamilton Park.
He made his chase debut after his Summer break in November 2000, finishing second at Carlisle, then followed up with two hard fought wins at Catterick, and Market Rasen, he fell on his last chase appearance that season at Musselborough.
We saw the very best of Deep Water as a four and five year old, but he continued to race until he was 11, providing his connections with many wonderful memories.A return to hurdles in 2002 saw him finish second off 113 at Ayr, and over fences in March 2003, he notched up back to back wins, taking his mark all the way back up to 124.His final win came in February 2004 at Catterick under Tony Dobbin, but he was still running to a high level at the age of 10 and 11, being placed off marks in the low 120's.He had his final race at Wetherby under Wilson Renwick, on December 3rd, 2005, finishing third, but returning lame.
Deep Water was a horse of a lifetime, and with an official rating of 150, was the second best National Hunt performer for his Sire, Diesis, just behind the Nick Gifford trained Straw Bear. Deep Water lived to be 26 years old, and enjoyed a very well deserved, happy and relaxing retirement.