Byblos Boy wins again: Rising 11-year-old finds new lease on life

Jordan Mallyon leads Byblos Boy to victory in the 1100m Benchmark 58 Handicap at Nowra on Friday. Photo: Bradley Photos.

Typically, most rising 11-year-old thoroughbreds are either in the paddock, or well into to their new careers as ponies or show jumpers. 

That isn’t the case for Byblos Boy though, with the old-stager proving that age is no barrier as he continues to win races. 

Trained by Peter Korn, the Byblos gelding was again in the winner’s circle at Nowra on Friday, leading all the way in the 1100m Benchmark 58 Handicap. 

Ridden by Jordan Mallyon, Byblos Boy was a length in front when the gates crashed back, spearing ahead from gate six, before running away for a comfortable 3.3 length victory and paying $13 on the NSW tote. 

“I was just wondering what could go wrong, everything was going too well, he was doing it very easy in front and he won easily,” Korn said. 

Surprisingly, Korn was a little hesitant in going to Nowra in the first place, with the track rated a soft six before the first event on the card.

Still, the astute trainer banked on the surface improving prior to their race and was subsequently rewarded for making the decision to race.

“20 minutes before the race, one of the jockeys told me the track had dried out a bit and when I heard that, my confidence improved and I had more money on him,” Korn said. 

“We have just been looking for a firmer track and we finally got one. The jockey (Jordan Mallyon) got off him at Gundagai last start and said if it was a bit dryer he would have won, and he was right; he won easily.”

Byblos Boy is somewhat lightly race when considering his age, only running 45 times for six wins and 10 placings; earning connections almost $100,000 in prizemoney. 

Oddly enough, Byblos Boy won his maiden at Kembla Grange as a five-year-old but wouldn’t win again until he was nine. 

He then followed that breakthrough result with four wins as a 10-year-old; a remarkable achievement by any stretch of the imagination.

Korn explained that it was ongoing hoof issues that had prevented Byblos Boy from winning more races. 

“He has just had a lot of time off due to having bad feet injuries and they took a long time to heal,” Korn said. 

“I tried to do a few different things with his feet and eventually he came good in the end. He would have run in more races and won better races if it wasn’t for his feet.”

Korn said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Byblos Boy kick on and race for a year or two longer.

“It is a shame he was so old when he finally come good, but in saying that, he could quite easily keep going for another year or two,” Korn said. 

“The horse is in really good form and I think he is good enough to win again next start if it is firm.”

After Friday’s win, Korn thanked Jordan Mallyon, who rode his gelding as instructed at Nowra.

“He rode it to instructions perfectly, he did everything he was supposed to do,” Korn said. 

“He is a super rider and has been going well and I am glad he is riding the old boy.”

Byblos Boy might be backing up again at Cowra on Saturday, with Korn nominating him for another 1100m Benchmark 58 Handicap. 

“He could go around at Cowra next Saturday and then I would probably give him three weeks spell and start up with him again,” Korn said.

“If he draws one, two or three, we will go and he probably wins. He is going that good at the moment.” 

Korn will be moving base shortly too, as he prepares open up shop Queanbeyan. 

“I wanted to move to Tumut but couldn’t find the right property,” Korn said. 

“I have picked up 10 boxes at Queanbeyan and will be moving to a new 27 acre property just outside of Queanbeyan this month and I will be racing a few more horses in that area.”