SKY HIGH CHAMPION RACEHORSE
He is among the most successful racehorses in Australian racing history, having won 29 major races. This would make some people to liken him with Manikato, who also won 29 times.
However, Sky High stands out because of the ease with which he won middle distance races.
In addition, his versatility is definitely a talking point, having won over 12 furlongs (2,400 metres) on two occasions. Sky high was sired by the legendary Star Kingdom from Ireland and was Skyline’s brother. During his career, he won 29 times from 55 starts.
Sky High was foaled in the year 1957 and bred by Sir Brian Crowley, who was a former AJC chairman. His versatility made him a force to reckon with in races taking place over distances between 1000 metres and 2400 metres. He won a total of £ 77,055 in earnings.
His win at the Victoria Derby is one of his most memorable wins because of the manner in which he led from the very beginning to the end of the race after having been ruled out by many pundits. Out of the major races won by Sky High, 18 have since been upgraded to Group One (G1) status. Sky High was one of the earliest Slippers winners to be sent to America. The other two were Eskimo Prince and Pago Pago.
Sky High Good Sire
Sky High was not just successful on the racecourse, but he was also a good sire who had 4 progenies who went on to be stake winners.
His rivalry with the legendary Wenona Girl has been widely publicised, but he also faced other equally competitive rivals such as Dhaulagiri, Aquanita and Fine And Dandy. At the age of two, Sky High won six races out of the seven he had started.
Sky High’s first major win came in the form of a victory at the 1959 AJC Breeders’ Plate which took place over a distance of 1000 metres. He had odds in his favour en route to taking part in the 1960 Golden Slipper, which he won. He did not disappoint, as he went on to win the STC Golden Slipper Stakes of 1960 over 6 furlongs. Sky High’s next major win was yet another 6 furlong race which was at the AJC Champagne Stakes.
The year 1960 was a successful year for Sky High as he won yet another major race in the form of the 12 furlong VRC Victoria Derby; in a race that showed just how versatile he was.
The year 1961 was a success for Sky high as he became the only Golden Slipper to ever take part in the VRC Melbourne Cup, in an event that remains a record up to date.
This was just but one of the ten major races he won that year. His other wins came in the VRC Lightning Stakes, the VRS Futurity Stakes which took place over 7 furlongs (1400 metres), the VRC Lloyd Stakes, the STC Canterbury Stakes, the AJC Daily Telegraph Stakes (over 1200 metres), the VATC Caulfield Stakes over 9 furlongs, the AJC Epsom Handicap, the AJC Warwick Stakes, the AJC All Aged Stakes and the VRC L.K.S MacKinnon Stakes.
1962 Good Form Continues
In 1962, Sky High continued with the good form he had shown the previous year. He won a total of 10 major races that year, including successful defences of some of the titles he had won the previous year.
First up, he won the 1962 VRC Lightning Stakes, effectively defending the title he had won the previous year. He also won the VRC Lloyd Stakes for the second time in a row, and then won the 1800m STC Rawson Stakes.
Sky High was not done yet, as he went on to successfully defend the STC Canterbury Stakes on top of the AJC Chipping Norton Stakes which he had won over a distance of 2000 metres.
He was also the winner of the STC Hill Stakes which took place over 1700 metres before successfully defending the AJC Daily Telegraph Stakes title he had won the previous year. Sky High also went on to win the AJC Sunday Telegraph Stakes, the VRC Linlithgow Stakes and the 9 furlong VATC Caulfield Stakes in the same year.
Retires To Stud
Sky High raced for the last time in 1963 before being retired to stud.
The two major races that he won in his final year were the 1963 AJC Autumn Stakes and the STC Rawson Stakes which was over 9 furlongs and he won for the second time.
At the end of his time in the stud in Australia, American interests bought him and took him to the popular Kentucky stud of Claiborne Farm. His most famous progeny in America was Autobiography, who was the 1972 and 1973 US Handicap Horse of the Year. Flying Fox was yet another successful progeny sired by Sky High.
Fly Fox earned a total of US $ 167,653 during his racing career. He also sired Sky Cast’s Double and Take Off.