December 2019

Ladyship to Held To Ransom

Bruce Stewart

First season trainer Jessie Alford has a bit on.

He and partner Josie Reid are expecting their first child next month, he’s training the only horse in his stable Held To Ransom, and is starting a new job with Woodend Beach trainer Matt Purvis. Things are just busy enough.

Alford freely admits he gets nervous when Held To Ransom starts at the races but he need not have worried today at Ascot Park, because the Live Or Die mare won easily in the hands of Brad Williamson.

Williamson got the five year old mare in the one one early with Bella Sara making the pace.

Held To Ransom was travelling nicely throughout and once balanced up in the home straight she went down to the finishing line to easily win by a length and a half from Folklore.

Held To Ransom winning without another horse in sight

Winning salute

Brad Williamson with Jessie Alford and Held To Ransom

The win was the mare’s third in a row.

“I’ve only had her for about six weeks. She needs the beach. She was probably going to go back to Regan Todd’s. I asked if I could buy her. She’s a family horse who just swims instead of jogging, she just loves the beach,” said Alford after the win.

Alford hadn’t had any background in harness racing until former Southland trainer/driver,  but Jonny Cox got him involved.

“Coxey got me into it. I was helping him out a few years ago and we became friends. I got sick of my office job (selling survey and building equipment) so I thought stuff it, I’ll do something I like. I took a bit of a pay cut and worked for Michael House and Andrew Stuart, whose been really good to me, and I’m about to go to the beach and work for Matt.”

Held To Ransom was previously trained by Stuart who managed to get a number of placings out of the mare, but missed out on that elusive win.

Alford also holds a junior driver’s license but after driving Held To Ransom a number of times he says he now prefers to hand the reins to other drivers.

“For some reason I just don’t drive her that well so I just let other people do it. I’d like to keep her but I’ve got a baby girl on the way in late January. This will help get her a few extra treats which is good.”

The win capped off a stellar day for Brad Williamson who won three  of the races  on the ten race card.

Brother Nathan also won a race, driving Revitalise for good stable client Neville Cleaver who bought the diminutive Bettors Delight gelding at the sales for $15,000.

He received a nice trail and was too good, beating Glenledi Captain by two and half lengths.

Revitalise winning on debut

Wedding Bells Ring As Lawrence Wins

Bruce Stewart

Hardly a Southern race day goes by without the presence of prominent owners Lindsay and Ian Thomson being on course to watch one of their horses win. But wedding bells in Dunedin kept them away today at Ascot Park.

Their absence didn’t halt their run of success though,  as two horses they own won today: Lawrence and Kilowatt Kid.

The brothers were attending their nephew Matthew Leckie’s wedding in Dunedin.

“They weren’t too happy the wedding was on the same day as the races (laughter) but they asked their other nephew if he could bring it up on his phone so they could watch it while the wedding was on,” said trainer Alister Black.

Shadow Play gelding Lawrence was their first winner. He was favourite in the R50-R60 rating mobile pace on the back of his run for second on Show Day at Addington in the South of the Waitaki Pace.

“I thought he’d be hard to beat today but with racing you never know.”

Lawrence  winning easily for Brad Williamson

Returning to the birdcage

Riley Black, Brad Williamson, Alister Black, Lawrence and Sheree Black

The five year old had nearly a year away from racing, after he broke down when running second to Please Shuddup at Gore in October 2018.

“Thanks to Southern Vets and Vet South and all the work they’ve done with the horse. Because it wasn’t looking too good for a while.”

The recovery has been a slow process and the horse has noticeably returned to racing a much bigger and stronger proposition.

“He’s done a power of work. He probably did five months work before he went to the races and he’s still as big as a bull.”

The win today, at the hands of regular pilot Brad Williamson was his fourth from just sixteen starts.

“He’s in that Country Cup grade now and as you know you have to wait your turn in that grade.”

Later in the day Kilowatt Kid also won for the Thomson, Black and Williamson combination.

It took the whole length of the straight for him to get past pacemaker Parama, but he eventually won by a nose.

Williamson was in great form at today’s meeting, getting home long shot trotter Dream Of Pat.

Her form was full of zeros but today after a daring drive by Williamson the seven year old Great Success mare held on to beat favourite Galleon’s Future.

While most of the field was in bother at some point Williamson took the thirty nine start veteran maidener to the lead and opened up plenty of holes in the field before holding on to win by a head.

Dream Of Pat (2) holding out Galleons Future

Trained at Omakau by Ginger Woodhouse, Dream Of Pat was his first winner since Lucky Pat’s Son won at Forbury Park in November 2016.

In the Junior Drivers feature Major Watson proved too strong for the six other rivals.

The Art Major gelding, owned by Ben and Karen Calder and trainer Nathan Williamson was too smart, winning by a length and a quarter.

After sitting back driver Mark Hurrell shot the four year old forward with 900 metres to run, cruising easily to the lead. He held on to beat Magnetic Watch by a length and a quarter.

Major Watson in full flight beating Magnetic Watch

When favourite Flash Party was checked at the start in the Gold Ace at Nevele R Stud Mobile Pace the race was left wide open for the other runners including the Brett Gray trained Bettors Highlight.

Driver Ellie Barron tucked the Bettors Delight mare away on the inside running line, trailing early pacemaker Bettor Galleon.

Vintage Rose then shot round the field with 1500 metres to run and looked to have the race in safe keeping but Barron got Bettors Highlight out in between tiring runners Bettors Galleon and Calico Hill, and set out chasing Vintage Rose which had shot away by eight lengths.

Bettors Highlight came stoutly up the inside to win by a neck.

It was the mare’s second win in twelve starts.

Bettors Highlight winning her second race for Ellie Barron

Paddyproudfoot Injured

Bruce Stewart

Talented pacer Paddyproudfoot has been sidelined with a leg injury.

The Washington VC five year old won fresh up this season in the Riverton Cup before heading to Addington and finishing with a creditable four on Show Day. However he hasn’t been spotted since.

Co-trainer Kirstin Barclay said after the leg injury was discovered they took him to  Dunedin vet Peter Gillespie and the results of the scans taken should be completely known in two weeks.

“He had a hair line fracture last season so when his leg blew up this time that was my initial fears that he’d done it again. But it’s looking like he’s just banged it badly.  Peter was positive that was what it was,” she said.

Barclay said Paddyproudfoot lets you know when something isn’t right.

“He’s a real drama queen. One day here he pulled a shoe in the stalls and he just stood there with his foot out. Every time someone walked past he put his foot out. It doesn’t take much for Paddy to think he’s broken.”

He’s had only twelve lifetime starts over three seasons of racing, winning five times and running second four times for owners Peter and Julie Duffy and Brian and Rosemary Duggan.

Meanwhile star pacer U May Cullect is on the active list after stem cell treatment.

“He’s got a long programme ahead of him ….  He’s up to twenty minutes of walking now and it goes up by five minutes a week, then he gets into a bit of trotting.  Basically ten days after the treatment I can’t believe how good the leg looked. He’s boxed all the time. It’s a nine month programme and at the end he’s back jogging for forty five minutes. He’s such an athletic horse that after nine months of work and a couple of canters he’ll be underway,” Barclay said.

U May Cullect

The five year old was side-lined prior to this year’s Hannon Memorial which was going to be his first real test against the open grade horses.

Barclay says U May Cullect is not a horse to remain idle and is enjoying some activity, albeit with light duties.

“He’s a horse that loves being in work so he’s happy with what he’s doing now.

Countess Of Arden Wins Equine Stakes

Bruce Stewart

Winning the Equine Stakes for fillies and mares is on the ‘must win’ list of most ardent Southern Breeder, and it was a race that Arden Lodge’s John Stiven enjoyed winning today with his mare Arden Countess.

The race has been run for thirty seven years and most of that time has been sponsored by AON Insurance.

From Barrier Six driver Jonny Cox took Arden Countess straight to the front and she proved too tough for Dachy who came down the outside, and for Calico Hill which ran up the passing lane.

The winning time was 1-58.8 on a slushy track.

Countess Of Arden winning the Equine Stakes – Photo Bruce Stewart

Jonny Cox, Countess Of Arden, Judy and John Stiven – Photo Bruce Stewart

The Net Ten EOM mare has had a number of trainers in her career,  starting with Barry Purdon, having a stint with Geoff Dunn and Brad Williamson, then returning home to Arden Lodge and the individual attention of her breeder John Stiven.

All through her career she has suffered from her muscles tying up but that now appears to be behind her.

“We’re using a Pride product called Easi Sport which we feed our yearlings with. It’s worked and we thought we had found the key to her. Then she got crook which affected her at her last start. We think there was too much spring grass which she couldn’t handle. We’ve had to be very patient to get her levels right. She had a good blood test last week. We thought she’d go alright but not that good,” said Stiven.

According to the Pride website Easi Sport is grain free and low in sugar and the mix is certainly appears to be agreeing with the mare.

Stiven trains at his Arden Lodge property at Tapanui and uses the Tapanui Racecourse for some fast work.

“I’ve been having the odd run with Matt (Saunders) which has been helpful. We had a run by ourselves mid-week and she just cruised it so I thought we were getting close. But not having a run-away (workout or trial) we thought we might need a run.”

Stiven says he’ll now target a heat of the Southern Belle Speed Series and The Robin Dundee Crown which Arden Lodge sponsors.

Arden Countess has now won three races for Stiven – two in the hands on Jonny Cox and the other for junior driver Ben Laughton.

Countess Of Arden is out of Young Tegan, a daughter of New Zealand Oaks winner Young Eden.

“We got her when Arden Choice was going so well. We got a lovely filly out of her but she died before she was weaned. Since then we’ve had three colts by A Rocknroll Dance, Sweet Lou and Always B Miki

The Always B Miki colt will be offered at next year’s yearling sale in Christchurch.

The win by Arden Countess was one of three for Cox.

Cracker Hill Resumes On Winning Note

Bruce Stewart

Quality young trotter Cracker Hill made easy work of ten rivals when he returned to racing at Winton today.

Today trainer driver Brad Williamson decided to race the Muscle Hill gelding without the blinds.

“Look, he’s not as sharp with the blinds off but I just wanted to give him a quieter first up run. It was good the way it worked out today as it was a sit and run home experience for him. I was over the moon with how it all worked out,” Williamson said after the run.

After sitting back early Williamson had to weave a path through some breaking horses at the top of the straight but the horse let down nicely and trotted to the finish line to win by one and a half lengths.

“He knocked off when he got to the front and was having a good look around but he’s trotted 1-58 in the slush so it was a pretty nice run really.”

Cracker Hill stretching out at the finish line – Photo Bruce Stewart

The time of 1-58.9 was a new track record erasing Jaccka Josh’s 2017 record of 2-02.3. Cracker Hill also holds the 1609 stand record on the Central Southland Raceway which he recorded on debut as a two year old last season.

Returning to the birdcage – Photo Bruce Stewart

Winning connections – Photo Bruce Stewart

“I was going to bring him here next week for the Gold Chip Final but in light of my suspension last night I’m not sure. I’ll have to discuss with the owners as to who we are going to use as a replacement driver.”

Williamson was suspended for over use of the whip whilst driving Majestic Man to run second in the Interdominion Trotters Grand Final in Auckland last night.

“He’d (Majestic Man) gone a great race. Everything worked out perfectly in the run but at the top of the straight he just wanted to run out. I had problems getting him into the passing lane and he never really got straightened up until it was too late. If he had balanced up at the top of the straight and got out I think he could have come down the outside and got over the top of them. Every race he’s had on that track he’s run out coming up the straight.”

Morton Gets Well Deserved Win

Bruce Stewart

Russell Morton has been working at the Gray stable for around fourteen years, and has occasionally bred a horse that’s then raced from the stable.

Pick Six Telf is one of those horses, and after a string of placings he ticked off a win at Winton today.

Pick Six Telf (3) getting his first win – Photo Bruce Stewart

Russell Morton (second from left) with horse, trainer, driver and stable crew – Photo Bruce Stewart

The four year old gelding by Bettor’s Delight is out of Super Telf  – a Caprock mare which goes back to Courteous Poplar. Morton and some friends bought him in the ’80s.

Hi said “I started off with Super Telf which is named after Wendy Telfer.  I thought ‘what can the best thing a punter can get? It’s Pick Six. So that’s how I got the name.’

Morton, who’s part of the Southern Bred Southern Reared group, normally takes at least one horse to the annual yearling sales in Christchurch.

“He (Pick Six Telf) actually went through the sales and I was a bit disappointed with what I was offered, so he came home.”

From that point on he’s been a part of the Gray stable.

“He had issues when he was being broken in and (he) threw the toys out of the cot a couple of times but learnt very quickly. That impressed me.”

Morton has a yearling half-sister by Always B Miki out of Super Telf which he’s retaining.

“She looks a bit leggy. Catching her at the moment is a problem.”

After the well deserved win today it’s back to work tomorrow at the Gray Ryal Bush stable.

“I don’t do any driving now. Brett retired me.”

Meanwhile Ashburton visitor Hot Starff justified his favouritism when he won the Phillips Horse Transport Mobile Pace.

Driver Jonny Cox stayed out of the early rush, settling fifth before angling into the one one with 2000 metres to run. With 400 metres to run Cox pushed off and progressed forward. At the 200 metre peg it was down to three horses and Hot Starff got up to beat Lite Percussion by a neck with a nose back to Tact Eze.

Hot Starff on the outside, winning at Winton today – Photo Bruce Stewart

Returning with driver Jonny Cox – Photo Bruce Stewart

Hot Starff is trained by Brent White.

In another close finish Dallas Grimes won her third race in the hands of Brent Barclay. The Murray Brown trained five year old has a host of owners (even too large to fit into the race book).

She beat Jimmy Richter by a neck with Myrcella a nose back in third.

Dallas Grimes gets up in the middle – Photo Bruce Stewart

Back to the birdcage – Photo Bruce Stewart

The most loyal of supporters – Photo Bruce Stewart

The biggest cheer of the day though came from the owners of Cab Calloway when he won the Woodlands Stud Mobile Pace.

Bred by Macca Lodge who raced him up until the beginning of last month, the four year old is now raced by good stable clients of Kirstin Barclay and Tank Ellis as well as a host of new owners from the Drummond Limehills Star Rugby Club.

Cab Calloway beat its more fancied stablemate Freddiesam by a nose and was at odds of 28 to 1.

Cab Calloway on the inside getting the decision – Photo Bruce Stewart

Back to the excited owners – Photo Bruce Stewart

The team with reserves – Photo Bruce Stewart

Pearl Harbour returned to winning form on her home track at Winton today.

The three year old Somebeachsomewhere filly qualified as a two year old in the south for owners/trainers John and Katrina Price, and was then sent north to Barry Purdon’s barn.

She won on debut in Auckland but remained winless in five further starts – three of which were in group races.

She returned home after the Harness Jewels and was having only her second start for the Price stable today.

Regular driver Williamson settled the filly near the rear of the field and then in a lightning move 900 metres from home, took her to the lead.

She stayed there holding on to beat favourite Slate who’d followed her round.

Win number two for Pearl Harbour – Photo Bruce Stewart

Vintage Cheddar Wins Cup

Bruce Stewart

It was a training feat for Alister Black yesterday when Vintage Cheddar won a Country Cups Series race at his first start since the beginning of June.

All credit must go to the conditioning skills of Black and his team of helpers, who were all on course when the son of Betterthancheddar just got up to beat Franco Santino in yesterday’s Wairio Cup.

Black had given Vintage Cheddar two workouts, running fourth in the first, before winning his second against moderate opposite.

The judge’s call seemed to take an eternity but the cheers of delight from in front of the north stand said it all.

Black, who has an excellent UDR rating, had three runners in the Cup and the win by Vintage Cheddar didn’t surprise him.

“No. He won fresh up last year. He trialed up nice at his last workout and trained well this week. He was pretty ready for today’s assignment,” he said.

Franco Santino was very brave, sitting parked (which is not really his forte) and just getting nabbed by a nose. He too was in a fresh state.

Vintage Cheddar’s driver Blair Orange wasn’t sure whether he’d won but close to the line you can see him having great delight in telling Nathan Williamson  he thought he had.

Got ya – Photo Bruce Stewart

Winning salute from Blair Orange – Photo Bruce Stewart

Vintage Cheddar with Sheree Black, Alister Black, Lindsay Thomson, Riley Black , Ian Thomson, Shirley Leckie and Tony Leckie – Photo Bruce Stewart.

The winning time of 2-56.8 was a new race record. The previous race record of 2-57.2 was recorded by Jamie in 2006. The time was also a new track and Southland record for four year old and older entires or geldings.

Black said the five year old will have his next start in the Omakau Cup at the Central Otago Meeting on the 2nd January.

“The long term goal this season is the Easter Cup. That’s why I didn’t worry too much about the New Zealand Cup meeting this year. The next Cup meeting will be right up his alley whether it’s in the Junior Free For All or the actual Cup.

Vintage Cheddar is owned by Lindsay and Ian Thomson who have now provided Black with 53 of his 66 winners. Black trains from a property the brothers own.

Lindsay and Ian bred Vintage Cheddar from their Grinfromeartoear mare Howfarnow which is out of the ten win mare Whanau.

“He’s just an awesome horse to have around. He was a bit of a hard thing when he was a young horse but plenty of repetition and hard work and he’s come right.”

Wairio Bits

Bruce Stewart

Nathan Williamson notched up another milestone when Allaboutjoy, which he trains for Malcolm and Sarndra Little, won the Macca Lodge Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace. It was the reinsman’s 800th driving win.

Allaboutjoy (3) leaving the mobile – Photo Bruce Stewart

The Bettor’s Delight mare has been a model of consistency this season and made the most of a good barrier draw to trail leader Ricotta.

In the straight she battled hard to get past Ricotta, winning by a head.

Allaboutjoy getting the better of Ricotta – win 800 for Nathan Williamson – Photo Bruce Stewart

Returning to scale – Photo Bruce Stewart

Williamson didn’t have much luck in the next race with hot favourite Chinese Whisper. The horse broke, lost a stack of ground early and was unable to make it up, finishing a creditable sixth just eleven lengths from the winner.

The race was won by Humble Ladd trained by Nathan’s father Phil and driven by junior driver Kerryn Tomlinson.

Humble Ladd (6) winning for Kerryn Tomlinson – Photo Bruce Stewart

Winning smile – Photo Bruce Stewart

Everyone was asking when the last time was that a Phil Williamson horse,  having won its last start, won at the odds of sixty to one.

Tomlinson won later in the programme when driving the Hamish Hunter trained Stingray Tara which sat parked and was too strong for favourite Slate. Slate set a lightning pace and the winning time was 1-53.9 for the 1609 metres.

Stingray Tara (7) getting up to beat Slate (4) and Paduka (10) Photo Bruce Stewart

Win  number two for Kerryn Tomlinson – Photo Bruce Stewart

Winning connections – Photo Bruce Stewart

Tomlinson then paired up with class trotter Cracker Hill to win the Gold Chip Final. The Muscle Hill three year old trotted the 2400 metres in 3-03.1 – a new track and Southland record. The previous record of 3-04.2 was jointly held by One Apollo and Sky Commander.

The winning margin was ten and a half lengths.

Fourth season trainer Chelsea Faithful turned the fortunes round of an out of form Dangerous, in the Willy’s Flooring Limited Mobile Pace.

Dangerous has been under the care of Faithful for ten days but still raced in the colours of regular trainer Tracey McGrannachan.

Dangerous out on her own – Photo Bruce Stewart

The Shadow Play entire which is owned by McGrannachan and Doug McLeish was driven by Nathan Williamson whom Faithful works for.

Doug McLeish, Chelsea Faithful, Dangerous and Nathan Williamson – Photo Bruce Stewart.

Maidonthebeach the winner of seven races, appreciated the drop back in class when she led and was too tough for trailing horse Tartan Trilogy.

The finish was an all Williamson affair with Matty driving Maidonthebeach and Nathan reining Tartan Trilogy. The winning margin was a neck.

Maidonthebeach beating Tartan Trilogy – Photo Bruce Stewart

Minstrel Calls The Tune

Bruce Stewart

The Cardrona Distillery/MLT Three Year Old Stakes at Gore today was the most talked about race of the day.

The field, albeit small in numbers, was packed with possibilities and proved to be an early indication of how exciting the Southern Supremacy Stakes could be later in the season.

From a wide draw Matty Williamson used plenty of gas early with second favourite Spirit Of St Louis and out of the first bend he was in front with favourite Minstrel and Ricky May dropping in to trail.

“I used him up a bit early. I would have been quite keen to stay in front but it was just the way it worked out,” said May referring to the early rush.

Matty Williamson heads to the top with Spirit Of St Louis – Photo Bruce Stewart.

Spirit Of St Louis striding out in front with a lap to run – Photo Bruce Stewart

Spirit Of St Louis stayed in front and sprinted hard with 400 metres to run. But Minstrel proved too powerful at the finish getting up to beat a gallant Spirit Of St Louis by three quarters of a length.

Ricky May and Minstrel too strong – Photo Bruce Stewart

“He does give me the feel of being a good horse. He’s only going to get better because it’s only his fourth start today,” May said in summarising his drive on Minstrel.

The three year old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover is trained at Woodend Beach by David and Catherine Butt.

The winning time was 2-45.7 with the last 800 metres run in 56.1 and the 400 metres in 26.6 which was outstanding considering the rain and hail which was falling at the time.

It was Minstrel’s second win in the province and he’s now fully qualified for the Supremacy Final in April which the Butts won with Ohoka Texas in 2011.

Minstrel has been staying with local trainer Brett Gray at Ryal Bush for the last two weeks and impressively won his previous start at Winton seven days ago.

“It was a better field today than last time. Brett thought he’d improved a bit. I think he might be right.”

Of the beaten brigade Spirit Of St Louis, after leading in trying conditions, was very brave when running second and the run by Pembrook Playboy for third just two lengths from the winner would encourage his connections to look at travelling north for some the bigger three year old races in Canterbury.

Bettathanfast Too Good In Gore Cup

Bruce Stewart

The Countries leading reinsman Blair Orange was at his best when he drove Bettathanfast to win the $15,000 Mataura Licensing Trust Gore Cup today.

Orange settled the Betterthancheddar four year old seventh early. In trying conditions with 1700 metres to run he took the horse to the front to ensure the race was a true staying test. At the end of the 2700 metres Bettathanfast held on bravely to beat Lawrence by half a neck with Nota Bene Denario a length and a half back in third.

“Lawrence is a fair horse and you knew he was always going to give you a fright but my horse has just got that will to win.  You just have to ask him to keep running along. He’s quite laid back but he knows when it’s business time,” said Orange.

Bettathanfast leading from Lawrence with a lap to run – Photo Bruce Stewart

Bettathanfast (inside) holding out Lawrence – Photo Bruce Stewart

Returning after win number five – Photo Bruce Stewart

The winning time on an easy track was 3-29.6 with the last 800 metres run in 58.4.

Orange has won most of the province’s Country Cup races but this was the first time he’s won the Gore Cup.

Blair Orange getting presented by MLT Board Member Alison Cormack – Photo Bruce Stewart.

Trained at West Melton by Cran Dalgety and Nathan Purdon, Bettathanfast was warmed up by John Morrison prior to the previous race.

“It’s always a thing they’ve done with him. Pre-warmed him so they can get him thinking about his game plan.”

Orange says it’s likely that Bettathanfast will follow the Country Cups path for the rest of the season.

He’s out of the twenty four year old Wingspread mare Fast Winger who has left a string of winners for her Oamaru breeder Ray Beale since 2003.

Fast Wingers best winners have been Armbro Winger (7 wins), Still Laughlin (7 wins) and the ill-fated Almost A Christian (4 wins from just 8 starts).

Pat – Super Fast

Bruce Stewart

Although mobile starts are not usually Brent Barclay’s preference, today he didn’t mind because it helped talented trotter Super Fast Pat, trained by Barclay’s partner Lauren Pearson to win and smash the Winton and Southland track record.

The five year old has a tendency to break during races. But if he trots well he tends to be a winner.

The race start was delayed due to the starter having to wait for the ambulance to return to the track. During this time Barclay said Super Fast Pat didn’t sweat up too much, but that he was on the toe and this has been his undoing in the past.

The race eventually got underway and from gate seven Barclay took the gelding to the front.

“That was the idea, to run them off their feet.”

By the 1700 metres Barclay was in front and he made sure the pace was solid. He had a couple of glances behind at the 1200 and 800 but the rest of the field wasn’t making too much headway.

Super Fast Pat in front with a lap to run – Photo Bruce Stewart

With 400 metres to run he’d opened up a gap of eight lengths on his rivals and at the finish he was seven and a half lengths in front of Rydgemont Milly, with half a neck back to Seekie Monkey.

Super Fast Pat on his own at the finish – Photo Bruce Stewart

The winning time was 2-56.6 with the last 800 metres trotted in 57.9 and 400 in 29 seconds.

“He felt super today. He got a bit tired at the finish, which is understandable.”

Win number three in the bag – Photo Bruce Stewart

The previous all-comers track record for trotters for the 2400 metres mobile was 2-58.9, held by Dark Horse.

Barclay commented that he wasn’t surprised by the time.

“Not really. I honestly thought he’d go 2-59. Three seconds quicker is good. He’s blowing a bit but its 30 degrees. He should take benefit from the run.”

Super Fast Pat  is owned by Ginger Woodhouse and Neil Edge, and Barclay said he’d felt fairly confident the horse would go well today.

“I told the owners the only thing that will beat him was himself.”

This was the horse’s third win from eleven starts and his first win from behind the mobile arm. He’s had nine of his starts from the stand, winning just twice.

“Our biggest worry is the standing start. He’s always had the motor. It does get frustrating. He’s got the motor to be a really good horse but his attitude and the standing starts are going to hold him back. He might end up in Aussie yet just for the mobiles.”

Barclay said some consideration will be given to running the gelding at Invercargill on Cup Day at the end of January.

“But he’s never got round a 1000 metre track. If he’s not there we might look at Wyndham but the owners may want to send him north.”

Super Fast Pat has been a bit of a handful for Pearson and Barclay but his talent has saved him from being sent elsewhere.

“You can’t catch him. He bolts when you let him go. He’s not a nice horse to be around but when you get hold of him he’s like a lamb.”

Barclay has won over 150 races driving trotters, and today he rated Super Fast Pat as the best he’s driven. He’d previously rated Gee Up Neddy as the best.

“This fella’s got a bigger motor than him.”

Mossdale Art Remains Unbeaten At Winton

Bruce Stewart

Canterbury mare Mossdale Art loves coming home to Southland and today at Winton her unbeaten record remained intact when she took out the second heat of the Macca Lodge Southern Belle Speed Series.

From gate five driver Ben Hope sent the Bettor’s Delight mare forward and reached the front by the 1200 metres.

At the starts Allan Beck driving Might Be Me looks over to see the blue cap of Ben Hope driving Mossdale Art. – Photo Bruce Stewart

She was pressured early by Dachy which ended up sitting parked.

At the 400 metres Hope decided to put the mare into another gear and he pinched a break to the top of the straight. This proved to be the winning of the race.

Halfway down the straight she had two lengths to spare from a chasing bunch and it was left to Might Be Me to put the pressure on Mossdale Art. Mighty Be Me got within a half a head at the finish.

“She felt good in front but to be fair she pulled up a bit at the end,” Hope said.

Mossdale Art (5) hangs on to beat a Might Be Me – Photo Bruce Stewart

The winning time was 1-53.7 with the last 800 run in 56.5 and 400 metres in 26.9

“It felt like we were walking it for a fair bit. I didn’t think I was over-extending her in front but she’s quite a deceptive going mare.”

Win number three at Winton – Photo Bruce Stewart

Mossdale Art was bred by and is owned by Archie Affleck formally of Riversdale and now of Cromwell.

“She’s a nice mare and the mile suited her. It was great for Archie to get two winners from the same breed.”

Sheree McIntyre from Macca Lodge, Club President Alistair Kyle with Margaret and Archie Affleck – Photo Bruce Stewart.

The win was Mossdale Art’s third from fifteen starts. All three wins have been on the Central Southland Raceway where she remains unbeaten.

The win completed a double for trainers Greg and Nina Hope, son Ben, and Affleck. They won the previous race with Mossdale Lottee which was racing on debut.

“I was surprised at the win. She’d gone well at the trials but she’s stepped up to the next level. She’s going to do a good job for the Afflecks.”

Mossdale Lottee (13) holds out Raksjameson by a head – Photo Bruce Stewart

Mossdale Lottee returning after her first win – Photo Bruce Stewart

Kute Jaccka is Mossdale Lottees third dam and Mossdale Art’s fourth.

It was a day of contrasting weather at Gore yesterday with warm conditions early in the day before thunder, lightning, hail and rain arrived.

It didn’t stop the action though. Here are some of the pictures from Cup Day at Gore.

The first race was won by the locally trained Delight. She’s trained by Tony Stratford and was well driven by Blair Orange.

Delight getting up on the inside

The first of three wins for Blair Orange

Winning connections and sponsors Arden Lodge

The biggest win of the day – eight and a half lengths. Time In A Bottle

Returning to the birdcage for Matty Williamson

She’s A Dagg – another winner for the Jones/Hill/May combination

Paduka wide out gets up to beat Swift Robyn.

Win number three for Paduka

Winner Minstrel and Ricky May heading out for the Three Year Old Stakes

Matty Williamson and runner up Spirit Of St Louis

Third placegetter Pembrook Playboy


Winton HRC – Tuesday 31st December 2019-Picture Gallery

Good weather and a fast track provided excellent racing at the Central Southland Raceway. Here’s a gallery of pictures taken by Bruce Stewart on the day.

The Lyndon Bond trained Crusher Collins and Nathan Williamson got things underway beating Alpine Retreat.

Williamson made it two in a row when the consistent Wayne Adams trained gelding Jaccka Ted won Race Two.

Jaccka Ted winning

Canterbury driver Mark Jones began an early double winning Race Three with the Peter and Mitchell Robertson trained Ideologist.

Jones second win came in the next race when quality three year old Burnham Boy returned to winning form beating Tartan Trilogy by a length.

Burnham Boy winning for Mark Jones

Sugar Loaf created a good impression when she won the Southern Standardbred Breeders Association Fillies Mobile Pace running the 1609 metres in 1-54.0

Sugar Loaf winning for Matt Anderson