It’s a question that still haunts Jockey’s trainer Richard Cone, who has managed both horses.
It’s also a question that may never be answered. One horse, after four seasons at a local track, won’t race again. Another may, but it hasn’t been racing in three years.
The other trainer who started Ruppert’s career, Brian Shippens, has his doubts as well. The other trainer who started Ruppert’s career, Brian Shippens, has his doubts as well.
Shippens, who is based in South Florida, is confident his horses can keep pace.
The horse “Polar” that’s become a worldwide sensation is currently racing in a four-day jockeying event in the Mojave Desert outside Palm Springs. The prize money is $25,000, which doesn’t come close to paying off the $30 million debt Ruppert will need to pay off to win the $500,000 Grand National, which he must win to defend his title.
In a matter of weeks, if not days, the horse could be racing again for a million dollars.
“If it doesn’t happen, there will always be Ruppert as a world champion,” Shippens said.
He’s already been asked about the possibility of starting another horse.
And so has his horse
As recently as February, the horse had had just a slight dip in his performance. “Polar” had won at a track a year ago in front of 200 fans.
But it had improved steadily since then.
“Polar” has been in great shape and he appears to be in superb shape as well, Shippens said.
He believes his horse has had all the necessary ingredients.
“He’s a good racehorse, he’s young (35-years-old), he’s been under the watchful eye of a master trainer, he’s got high potential for longevity,” Shippens said.
The horse has “high potential for longevity” because in the last five or so years, he has started out riding for a handful of people including his father, Bill. He has ridden one race at age 19 and another at age 23. By contrast, just 10 years ago, Ruppert rode the full 24 hours race and he won before age 10.
Shippens said there are things to take into account. He is concerned about
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