The miracle horse which has raised $10 million for charity and rubbed shoulders with Hugh Jackman and Kylie Minogue

Having performed with actor Hugh Jackman and met prime ministers, sheikhs as well as pop star Kylie Minogue, it‘s fair to say that Subzero is no ordinary horse.

The word hero is banded around far too often but it doesn‘t do justice to the 1992 Melbourne Cup winner with the loveable grey transcending racing with his remarkable feats off the track.

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With his own Facebook and Twitter accounts due to his extraordinary following, Subzero has won the hearts of racing fans the world over with his charity work the stuff of legend in his native Australia.

The 31-year-old has his very own Make A Wish Foundation such is the demand which he is in from the ill and the lonely while ‘Subbie‘ is regularly invited to schools, hospitals, weddings and funerals.

With a host of products in his honour – punters can buy bags, hats, t-shirts, and drink bottles – as well as a book and song, it‘s clear the esteem with which he is held in by his horde of fans.

The queue of punters to see him at Flemington on Thursday ahead of a handicap named in his honour spoke volumes of his celebrity status and his battle against poor health is a reminder to never throw in the towel.

Subzero has been close to death‘s door on several occasions having fallen seriously ill to colic, peritonitis and most recently a serious kidney condition which saw him lose 70kg but he always bounces back.

The same can be said of cancer sufferer Graham Salisbury, who has looked after Subbie for the past 26 years since his racing career finished, and the pair are inseparable, one never comes without the other.

Subbie has raised $10 million for charity in retirement – including when Jackman rode him all the way down the famous Crown Casino in the city centre a few years back – and is like a family member to Salisbury.

“What he does at the old people‘s homes and with the sick kids, he goes into the hospice out at Caulfied, I‘ve taken him three or four times and there‘s no return once you go there,” Salisbury told independent.ie. “They don‘t come out of it, unfortunately. They ask the kids ‘what would you like to do?‘ and they say they‘d like a visit from Subzero. So they ring me and I get Subbie to them and he lifts their spirits.

“I was having chemo one of the times he visited and I took off my hat, this little kid of six years old came up to me and said ‘Hey Graham, I think we go to the same barber‘ because he had no hair either. It‘s amazing, Subbie just makes them happier.”

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A fan handed Graham two packets of sweets in Flemington‘s saddling shed yesterday, one for himself and a bag of black liquorice for Subbie as “it helps with his wind” and it‘s clear that the pair have a special bond.

Given the time they have spent together, it may not be surprising that Graham can communicate with Subbie and he brings me close to show how he can talk to human.

“Do you like being here today Subbie?” I ask, to which he nods his head several times. “Have you got a girlfriend Subbie?” he again nods away. “Is she a good type?”, more nodding from a truly remarkable animal.

Salisbury also describes a surreal sequence of events a few years back that illustrates the mass appeal which Subbie has across the globe.

“I had to do a thing for the VRC (Victoria Racing Club) a few years back and there was a bloke called Michael standing there looking for a word. He asked me how would I like to go to Dubai,” Salisbury recalls with a smile.

“I said ‘F*** off Michael will you‘. I thought he was taking the pi** out of me, I took Subbie over to the stables here at Flemington and your man followed us in, I told him to get lost or I‘d set the dog on him.

“He said ‘Listen, I‘m fair dinkum, the Sheikh wants you to go to Dubai‘. I called his bluff and said I‘d go. He got the vet around to inject Subbie and that was it, it turned out he was the sheikh‘s manager. We were supposed to go for ten days but we stayed for three weeks.”

One could do worse than embark on an internet search for Subbie and watch the beauty which unfolds with a host of videos and stories reinforcing the positivity which horses bring to people‘s lives.

What Subzero has accomplished outside of “the race that stops a nation” 27 years ago is remarkable, and he‘s not finished yet as one of racing’s greatest ambassadors continues to wow.

Online Editors

Having performed with actor Hugh Jackman and met prime ministers, sheikhs as well as pop star Kylie Minogue, it‘s fair to say that Subzero is no ordinary horse.

The word hero is banded around far too often but it doesn‘t do justice to the 1992 Melbourne Cup winner with the loveable grey transcending racing with his remarkable feats off the track.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

With his own Facebook and Twitter accounts due to his extraordinary following, Subzero has won the hearts of racing fans the world over with his charity work the stuff of legend in his native Australia.

The 31-year-old has his very own Make A Wish Foundation such is the demand which he is in from the ill and the lonely while ‘Subbie‘ is regularly invited to schools, hospitals, weddings and funerals.

With a host of products in his honour – punters can buy bags, hats, t-shirts, and drink bottles – as well as a book and song, it‘s clear the esteem with which he is held in by his horde of fans.

The queue of punters to see him at Flemington on Thursday ahead of a handicap named in his honour spoke volumes of his celebrity status and his battle against poor health is a reminder to never throw in the towel.

Subzero has been close to death‘s door on several occasions having fallen seriously ill to colic, peritonitis and most recently a serious kidney condition which saw him lose 70kg but he always bounces back.

The same can be said of cancer sufferer Graham Salisbury, who has looked after Subbie for the past 26 years since his racing career finished, and the pair are inseparable, one never comes without the other.

Subbie has raised $10 million for charity in retirement – including when Jackman rode him all the way down the famous Crown Casino in the city centre a few years back – and is like a family member to Salisbury.

“What he does at the old people‘s homes and with the sick kids, he goes into the hospice out at Caulfied, I‘ve taken him three or four times and there‘s no return once you go there,” Salisbury told independent.ie. “They don‘t come out of it, unfortunately. They ask the kids ‘what would you like to do?‘ and they say they‘d like a visit from Subzero. So they ring me and I get Subbie to them and he lifts their spirits.

“I was having chemo one of the times he visited and I took off my hat, this little kid of six years old came up to me and said ‘Hey Graham, I think we go to the same barber‘ because he had no hair either. It‘s amazing, Subbie just makes them happier.”

#bb-iawr-inarticle- { clear: both; margin: 0 0 15px; }

A fan handed Graham two packets of sweets in Flemington‘s saddling shed yesterday, one for himself and a bag of black liquorice for Subbie as “it helps with his wind” and it‘s clear that the pair have a special bond.

Given the time they have spent together, it may not be surprising that Graham can communicate with Subbie and he brings me close to show how he can talk to human.

“Do you like being here today Subbie?” I ask, to which he nods his head several times. “Have you got a girlfriend Subbie?” he again nods away. “Is she a good type?”, more nodding from a truly remarkable animal.

Salisbury also describes a surreal sequence of events a few years back that illustrates the mass appeal which Subbie has across the globe.

“I had to do a thing for the VRC (Victoria Racing Club) a few years back and there was a bloke called Michael standing there looking for a word. He asked me how would I like to go to Dubai,” Salisbury recalls with a smile.

“I said ‘F*** off Michael will you‘. I thought he was taking the pi** out of me, I took Subbie over to the stables here at Flemington and your man followed us in, I told him to get lost or I‘d set the dog on him.

“He said ‘Listen, I‘m fair dinkum, the Sheikh wants you to go to Dubai‘. I called his bluff and said I‘d go. He got the vet around to inject Subbie and that was it, it turned out he was the sheikh‘s manager. We were supposed to go for ten days but we stayed for three weeks.”

One could do worse than embark on an internet search for Subbie and watch the beauty which unfolds with a host of videos and stories reinforcing the positivity which horses bring to people‘s lives.

What Subzero has accomplished outside of “the race that stops a nation” 27 years ago is remarkable, and he‘s not finished yet as one of racing’s greatest ambassadors continues to wow.

Online Editors

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