'Fred' to bid farewell at Ceduna

Eye The World - or 'Fred' as he is known down at stable lane - will have his 116th and final race start at Ceduna this Saturday.

The sprightly 11-year-old has been with young trainer Ryan Dawson since he first started training and will always be a special part of Dawson's story.

A $250,000 Gold Coast Magic Millions purchase in 2011, 'Fred' was originally trained by the Hayes and Dabernig partnership but was on the market when he was not measuring up at the top-level of Australian racing.

"Dean Pettit put me onto him and dad and I bought him thinking he might be a good Port Lincoln horse and with also the thought of having a crack at the Birdsville Cup," Dawson said.

A couple of weeks after Eye The World arrived in Port Lincoln Ryan's trainer-father Tod passed away.

"Dad passed away shortly after we got him and never got to see him race unfortunately," he said.

"Brian Lear helped us out during that tough period training him and giving some good advice.

"He won his first race here at Port Lincoln and then went on to run second in the 2017 Port Lincoln Cup shortly after."

Dawson then obtained his own training licence and would go on to win the Streaky Bay Cup and Ceduna Cup in 2019 with Eye The World.

The chestnut was also crowned that year's Bill Holland Series winner.

Dawson would then try and emulate a feat his legendary grandfather George did seven times by winning the Birdsville Cup.

"It was an enjoyable trip and the people were great," he said.

"We didn't have much success on the track but enjoyed the social side of it."

Dawson said that 'Fred' would always hold a special place at Manetti Lodge.

"He means a lot to us and will be missed around the stables."

Ceduna holds no fears and Dawson is optimistic this could be a fairytale finale.

"This will be his last run - he will line up in the Benchmark 52 race over 1600 meters," he said.

"He likes the track, he's won here before and we're hoping he can go out a winner."

Dawson said he would ensure his favourite horse found a good paddock after racing.

"I'd like him to go to a nice home where he is very spoilt."