YOUNG INCA, one of the most popular and durable sprinters ofthe 1980s, has died aged 30.
The grey son of Young Emperor, winner of 14 races from 5f to 7f between 1981 and 1989, was put down due to deteriorating health.
He had spent a long and happy retirement on Haynefield Farm, Cullompton in Devon, from where Stuart Kittow trains.
Young Inca started his racing career with Ron Smyth, getting off the mark over 7f as a three-year-old, but it was with Gerald Cottrell that he started to blossom, tackling sprints from 1982 onwards.
Six of his 14 wins came at Ascot, with four at Goodwood, and, at the end of 1983, after a campaign in which he won five times, Timeform described him as “genuine and consistent”.
That brief summary of Young Inca’s talents did not take into account his tendency to give away ground at the start and Cottrell, Kittow’s father-in-law who previously held the licence at Cullompton, said on Wednesday: “You were never quite sure when he was having a going day – and he wasn’t keen on the stalls.”
Cottrell added: “Michaeland Richard Hills were definitely best with him at the start, always trying to get him into the gates last, and making sure he wasn’t upset by any of the handlers.
“If he’d been entirely reliable, he would have been right up with the best, but he did us proud in any case and we had a great deal of fun with him, especially at Ascot, where he was still winning at the age of 11.”
Cottrell, whose role at Haynefield is now purely that of overseer, said: “I love to watch the horses and Young Inca was oneof the stars of the farm until his health started to deteriorate.
“He was going downwards quite quickly towards the end, so we took the decision to lay him to rest and he will have a lovely plot here, where the family’s had him close by for almost 27 years.”