Another red-letter day for off the track thoroughbreds at the Royal Melbourne Horse Show.

The Australia Day long weekend saw another feature event on the Victorian show horse calendar, the 2014 RASV Royal Melbourne Horse Show, and with it came more success to retired racehorses.

A record number of retired racehorses lined up across the four days of the event and the results, particularly on Friday where thoroughbreds were celebrated as the feature breed, reflected the continuing dominance of off the track horses in the show ring.

Racing Victoria sponsored multiple thoroughbred classes on Friday with the signature Off The Track ring, only open to retired racehorses, taken out by Estambul gelding Hot Five.

The seven-year-old failed to fill a placing in eight starts on the track for Canberra trainer Jules De Smet but is proving a rising talent in the show ring after only a short retraining period.

“I’ve just taken over the ride on him and for a horse off the track he’s just amazing, he’s so quiet and taking it all in his stride,” rider Michelle Tuma Webb said.

“He’s only been going five months and he has probably done more classes this weekend than he has in his whole show career.”

Fairytale mare Pink I Am followed up her breakthrough success at the VAS Saddle Horse Championships earlier this month with a win in her thoroughbred mare class for teenage rider Abby Heffer.

Another mare, 12-year-old High Fashion, took out Champion Ridden Thoroughbred for Syenna Vasilopoilos while Zabeel gelding Ramsay Park Kaarma, a $260,000 Macedon Lodge yearling purchase, won Supreme Champion Led Thoroughbred for Katie Ramsay.

And while he couldn’t claim top honours for Inverleigh rider Fiona McIntyre, dual Group 1-winning gelding Sirmione hinted at a bright future in the show ring with encouraging performances in a number of classes.

McIntyre is now likely to set the former Bart Cummings-trained Australian Cup hero on a campaign that will culminate with a start in one of Australia’s most coveted show competitions, September’s Garryowen during the Royal Melbourne Show.

“I was absolutely thrilled with his performance out there, there was a lot of atmosphere in the arena and he went really well,” McIntyre said.

“I’m getting a lot of compliments and feedback, not only from judges, but anyone that sees him in competition and tells me how well he is looking.

“He’s still got a way to go, I’ve still got to get a lot more topline and weight on him because with the show horses we like big and fat but that will come with time.”

Story compliments of Racing Victoria/Off the Track

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