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The remarkable recovery of Secretagent Tycoon

By Duane Ranger

A broken hip and two bowed tendons is never a good outcome for any horse, but for Secretagent Tycoon it has been a bit of a blessing in disguise.

That’s the opinion of the 7-year-old gelding’s Alberton trainer, Ryan Veivers.

“It’s amazing what he’s been through. His recovery is nothing short of astonishing. He’s easily the best of my 18 horses in work. He makes getting up in the morning really worth it.

“It’s just a great feeling to have a quality horse heading for free-for-all status instead of claimers going the other way. I just want to do my very best by him and look after him the best possible way I can,” Veivers said.

“He’s easily the best I’ve trained,” the 26-year-old added.

Veivers said Secretagent Tycoon is owned and was bred by Simon and Karen Burrows. The former originally trained him in Queensland in November and December 2016, before he raced in Victoria for five starts (two wins) in February and March 2017.

“He fractured his hip prior to going south by clipping a tree,” Burrows (Simon) said.

Then the chestnut bowed both of his front tendons while campaigning in Victoria, and was then spelled.

Veivers said Secretagent Tycoon hadn’t raced since March 31, 2017 (Tabcorp Park Melton), and then resumed his racing career on July 2 this year at Albion Park.

“He’s now won five of nine starts this campaign, including his last three in a row. I brought him back to work in April. I think the big break has been the making of him. He’s a far better racehorse now, because in his early days he used to break a bit.

“He’s now bigger and stronger. The rest has done him the world of good. I can’t thank Simon and Karen enough for putting their faith in me with him.

“I’ve been extra cautious and brought him back slowly, I’ve been putting long slow-miles into him and it’s been the making of the horse,” Veivers said.

“I do feel sorry for Dannielle (McMullen) though. She has done all the hard yards with him and really given him the extra care he deserves. Now she can’t drive him because of her broken elbow. That’s sad,” he added.

Veivers also paid a tribute to the Burrows for believing in him.

“I used to race Ima Little Tycoon until he broke down and then trained Ima Top Tycoon as well. I can’t thank them enough.”

Burrows said Ima Little Tycoon (aka ‘Magic’) was Secretagent Tycoon’s (aka ‘Rocket’) older half-brother.

“Ima Little Tycoon is by Village Jasper, and is also out of our five-win Armbro Operative mare, Armbro Magic, which we purchased from New Zealand and raced successfully ourselves. She won five races.

“We did own Ima Top Tycoon (14 wins and $82,763), but sold him to Kyla Jones, who placed him with Ryan. The success he had with Ryan was the main reason we placed both of our horses with him,” Burrows said.

Burrows (Karen) said that she and Simon absolutely loved ‘little Armbro Magic’.

“She was as honest as the day is bright. We selectively bred her, and then gave her a break before going to Tell All.

“She has since been rehomed as a riding horse. Boy, do I wish I still had her!” she said.

Secretagent Tycoon will be going for four Tuesday Albion Park wins in a row today in race eight. Nathan Dawson will again do the driving.

The Tell All – Armbro Magic gelding has now won seven of his 18 starts and $35,662 in purses.

He recorded his quickest mile rate of 1:53.3 when Veivers’ fiancĂ©e (Dannielle McMullen) won behind him at ‘The Creek’ on July 16.

Secretagent Tycoon is sure to be well supported again from his nice barrier draw of three today. Last start he was the hot $1.20 favourite when winning from gate six, and the start before that he was also one-one in the betting when scoring at $1.65 odds, from barrier seven.

“I think he will whip through the grades pretty easily.  He was three-wide two starts ago and won easy, and then he jogged it last start with the ear plugs still in.

“He’s in the best condition he’s ever been in. He’s a super horse,” Veivers said.