Our Civic Hope
As with many touching stories in horse racing most of them start in the bush, just like Our Civic Hope and his trainer John Zielke.
Hailing from Home Hill the 'North QLD own' Our Civic Hope won his 1st 5 starts straight as a 2YO. His first start was The 1994 Townsville Pallendra Stakes $17 000 which he won by 10 lengths also it was on Caulfield Cup Day, 2nd start was probably the most impressive where he won the 1994 Mackay Coca-Cola Cup 1050m by 15 lengths on Melbourne Cup Day. This brought John, the horse and the owners a lot of media publicity and they stated that Our Civic hope was the best in QLD.
His 3rd start was the 1994 J.F.Meynink Stakes (listed) where he tackled the states best on offer and won easily by 5 lengths beating 'The Irishman' and 'Vet Check' both were very handy horses. After this race 'The Boys From The Bush' syndicate was offered $500,000 to sell the outstanding galloper but refused knowing they had a talented horse. YouTube video of Our Civic Hope winning the Meynink Stakes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h7l_VUb3O0&feature=youtube_gdata_player
4th start in and he won the 1994 QLD Millions Hcp by 4.5 lengths to 'The Irishman' once again. After spelling the horse John looked everywhere to find a race for the smart 2YO from Home Hill but the only race he could find was at Kilcoy where crowds came out just to see the horse run. He only won this race by 2.5 lengths with jockey Shane Scriven aboard.
After this race John entered him in a QRIS 2YO Hcp (1200m) at Doomben and with more distance the horse tasted defeat for the 1st time and he finished 2nd to 'Latin Quarter'.
Our Civic Hope then made the journey South where he started in the 1995 Pago-Pago Stakes with jockey Glen Boss in the saddle but he didn't place.
John then decided to go to the Gold Coast and put him in the Class 6 Birkbecks Diamond (900m) Bracelet where he finished 4th and finally, in his last race with trainer John Zielke the horse again raced at Doomben in the 1200m Golden Stakes where he ran 4th again.
Our Civic Hope was then passed through a handful of trainers only winning a few more races till he died of cancer to one of his eyes.
Our Civic Hope’s 1994 Meynink Stakes win at Eagle Farm with the horse’s original jockey Jon Lewis who won 4/5 races on the horse. In the background wearing a cap is the main syndicate owner Paul Liccardello.
A newspaper clipping from the Burdekin newspaper 'The Observer'.
Our Civic Hope and trainer John Zielke at Home Hill
‘Our Civic Hope – the dream’ - video montage of Our Civic Hope’s career and the Boys From The Bush syndicate
Thanks to Mr Jeff Zielke (John’s son) for this information and photos.