Larynx fights back from death’s doorstep to winner’s circle

The Brett Thompson-trained Larynx has been a good earner for connections, winning just shy of $200,000 in prizemoney during his 49-start career. Photo: Racing Photography.

In-form sprinter Larynx has continued to deliver for his loyal connections, with the seven-year-old starting 49 times for eight wins and 21 minor placings, earning just shy of $200,000 in prizemoney in the process.

Trained in Gulgong by Brett Thompson, the Your Song gelding showed off his fighting spirit at Dubbo on Monday when holding off the likes of Westlink, Reward Seeker, and Whatsin when taking out the 1300m Open Class Handicap for jockey Clayton Gallagher. 

In what is an incredible story, Larynx nearly didn’t make the track, and it is that same fighting spirit that helped him battle back from death’s doorstep after an infection almost took his life.   

“We bought him as a baby, and he was going to make good money at the Easter Sales, and the guys from Inglis thought he might go for a couple hundred thousand (dollars), but when he got the scope done, it was found that he was gone in the wind,” Thompson said. 

“Andrew Baddock rang me up and asked if we would be interested in buying him, and I went and had a look at him at Gooree Park and well John ‘Ripper’ Curry raced his mother Conch with Mark Milton, and she won nine (races) I think, and Andrew Baddock bought her as a broodmare, and she was originally a Darley horse, so she is well bred. 

“They wanted $20,000, so I bought him knowing he was gone in the wind, and we broke him in, educated him, and we decided he could gallop and sent him to get a throat operation, but about a week after, he got an infection, and then got pneumonia, and he got that sick that I didn’t think he would make the trip to Randwick Equine (Centre).

“He was that sick he could hardly stand up, and I drove him down and got him there, and when I walked him off the float, they couldn’t believe how sick he was.

“They had to put a tube into the side of him to get fluid out of his lung, and they normally just do one side, but they ended up doing both sides.

“He spent three weeks at Randwick Equine getting over it, but he wanted to live, and he kept fighting.”

A return to racing didn’t happen overnight, and while he battled minor set-backs earlier in his career, the old boy has never looked back since hitting the racetrack in 2018. 

“He got over it all, but it did take a long time,” Thompson said. 

“He’s just a fighter and he’s been a really good horse but three preps ago, he had niggling little injuries, and we couldn’t quite get him right. 

“I kept telling the owners, ‘he is a good horse, and he needs to go for a good spell’, but a couple pulled out. After that spell, he’s now had two preps where nothing has gone wrong with him, and he’s won five during that time.”

Larynx is a big strong horse, that ‘eats the house down’, and he is versatile galloper too, proving to be capable from in front and from off the pace. 

“He can be ridden off the speed, but lately he hasn’t been drawing any gates and we have been going forward on him and he’s had to carry some big weights,” Thompson said. 

“Some of his better runs have been when he has got back, like at Dubbo when he first won with Greg Ryan on him, and his run with Gibbo (Andrew Gibbons) on him at Muswellbrook was really good.”

At Dubbo on Monday, Clayton Gallagher was forced to circle the field before finding the front, and he hung on gamely in the 1300m event, beating some accomplished bush sprinters.  

“You could see him in the last 20 metres the other day; he kicked away from Westlink, and he just wanted to win,” Thompson said. 

Larynx has been up since winning the Gulgong Cup first-up in June of last year, and Thompson believes he has more races in him this preparation.

“He will probably stay up. He rolled his joint in that run the other day, and he is a bit tender, but I don’t think it is anything serious and we’ll get the vet to have a look over him,” Thompson said. 

“He’s a pretty popular horse; a lot of the stable is in him, locals from Gulgong are in him, and people from Queensland, Newcastle and everywhere, and they are all enjoying watching him race well.

“He’s been a great old horse for the stable and I wish they were all just like him.”

The Gulgong team have notched plenty of winners during the first six months of the 2022/23 season, with the likes of Barry The Poet, Cumboogle, Toongi Bound all winning in January alone. 

“I have been training long enough to know that you have your good runs and bad runs, and last year we had a bad group of horses,” Thompson said. 

“We had some nice ones coming through, but they were two-year-olds and weren’t ready to be racing, but this year, we have good, young horses ticking over, and the team is going well, and everything is falling into place.”

Thompson and his team will look to continue their good run at Gilgandra and Royal Randwick on Saturday and Bathurst and Muswellbrook on Monday. 

The team also has two up-and-coming types in Blow Dart (Royal Randwick Saturday) and Extra Flash (Muswellbrook Monday) heading towards the Central Districts Country Championships qualifier on February 26.