Brown horse (1946-1960), Midstream – Gazza - Inducted in 2013
Bred by noted studmaster Percy Miller at Kia Ora stud, from the champion sire Midstream, and trained by Maurice McCarten, Delta had all the credentials to be a champion. And so it proved.
TRAINER: Maurice McCarten
OWNERS: Adolph Basser
RACE RECORD/STAKE MONEY: 41 starts: 22 wins, 6 seconds, 2 thirds/£48,169
As a late maturing colt, McCarten introduced Delta slowly to the racetrack. He had just two minor wins as a two-year-old from four starts. His three-year-old campaign began in Sydney. After winning the STC Canterbury Guineas, he ran second in both the Rosehill Guineas and the AJC Derby. Taken to Melbourne he won the 1949 W.S. Cox Plate, downing the favourite Comic Court, the Victoria Derby, the VRC St Leger and King’s Plate.
Delta’s four-year-old season was slightly disappointing with just three wins from eight starts. However, as a five-year-old in 1951/52, he justified all the high expectations held of him. From 14 starts he won 11 times, including the AJC Metropolitan Handicap, the VRC L.K.S. Mackinnon Stakes, and the Melbourne Cup. The Metropolitan-Melbourne Cup double had not been accomplished since Tim Whiffler in 1867; in both races he carried 9st 5lb (59.5 kg).
Returning as a six-year-old Delta demolished Hydrogen in the Chelmsford Stakes, setting an Australasian record for the nine furlongs. This was to be his last start as soon after injury problems forced his retirement.
Induction into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame is the industry's highest accolade.
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