Vintage Cheddar Wins Junior Free For All
10th November 2020
Southland pacer Vintage Cheddar might have missed out on a start in the New Zealand Cup, but his win in the Junior Free For All goes someway to compensating his connections.
Vintage Cheddar winning – Photo Race Images
Trained by Alister Black for Lindsay and Ian Thomson who bred the gelding, the six year old was taken back early by driver Brad Williamson and was third last for most of the race. With 700 metres to run Vintage Cheddar was last, with Williamson reining him up with the aim of getting on the back of another runner to get a tow into the race. As the field came inside the last 400 metres he got on the back of On The Cards which took the lead as the field straightened up. Vintage Cheddar under a hard drive, wore down the leader to win by one and three quarter lengths from On The Cards.
“A lap from home I was thinking we were in a world of hurt. At the 600 I was feeling a bit better. At the top of the straight I was feeling really good. I just knew he wouldn’t quit,” Black said.
The winning time was 3-08.3. The race record was posted in last season’s Free For All by Ultimate Sniper which ran the 2600 metre mobile in 3-06.4.
“To win the Junior Free For All is a huge thrill. It was massive.”
Brad Williamson and Alister Black – Photo Race Images
Blacks wife Sheree was on the course but unfortunately the couple’s son Riley, an avid harness fan missed the day.
“Riley got the flu a couple of days ago so he’s at home. He was real gutted.”
This was Black and the Thompson brothers first Group winner although they’ve had plenty of medium grade horses like Kilowatt Kid, Lawrence, Six Diamonds and Ossessione.
The win was Black’s seventy second, and fifty nine of those have been owned by the Thomson brothers. His first win for the pair was New York Town at Winton in December 2012.
Today’s win was Vintage Cheddar’s ninth.
For the pedigree buffs Orbell,Vintage Cheddar’s fourth dam has a great record in this race.
She was the dam of Lento which won the Junior Free For All in 1994 and Orbell was the second dam of Belle’s Boy which was successful in 2005.
Southland trained horses also have a good record in this race, albeit in the 80s and 90s. Roman Gladiator won the race in 2004, further back, Whale Of A Tale in 1995, No Return in 1993, Honkin Vision in 1991 and Zabadak in 1982.
It was a pretty good day for Southern horses with Andy Hall winning the two mile trot and Southland bred Amazing Dream bred by Vin and Daphne Devery taking out the Nevele R Fillies Final.
Bad To The Bone bred by Todd and Fleur Anderson impressed when he won the R65-R80 Mobile Pace. By Bettor’s Delight out of Beaudiene Bad Babe the four year old looked tough and mature in leading, and he won by two lengths.