Subzero as a Clerk of the Course horse at Flemington with rider and best friend Graham Salisbury (Image: VRC)

Vale Subzero

It is with great sadness that the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) acknowledges the passing of 1992 Melbourne Cup winner, long-standing Clerk of the Course horse and racing hero Subzero at 32 years old. 

On the track Subzero was a standout of his generation, winning the South Australian Derby and Adelaide Cup as a three-year-old before going on to claim racing’s greatest prize, the Melbourne Cup, at four. 

Trained by Lee Freedman and partnered in most of his races by legendary jockey Greg Hall, the handsome grey gelding was unmissable on the track and quickly became Australia’s most famous grey in his second career as a Clerk of the Course horse. 

It was as a Clerk of the Course horse at tracks including Flemington that he formed his strongest bond with his rider, Graham Salisbury. Upon retiring from that career in 2008 the pair went on to devote themselves to charity work, brightening the lives of everyone from school children, to hospital patients and nursing home residents. 

Affectionately known as Subbie, the gelding participated in many other events including the Lexus Melbourne Cup Parade and Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour, where Graham and Subzero were always the stars of the show. 

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott paid tribute to Subzero, who alongside his best friend Graham Salisbury transcended racing like no other pair. 

“There can be no better example of the friendship and love between a man and horse than Graham Salisbury and Subzero,” Mrs Elliott said. 

“Together they brought joy and happiness to so many, from racing fans of all ages to the wider general public who had never even seen Subbie race. 

“Sadly we lost Graham a few months ago and there is no doubt in my mind that Subbie, at the ripe old age of 32 years old, wanted to be where Graham is.” 

The VRC will continue to acknowledge Subzero with the running of the Off The Track Subzero Handicap restricted to grey horses during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.