February – 2022

Carl Hanna Gets First Win with Tairlaw Toll

Bruce Stewart

3rd February 2022.

Tairlaw Toll provided Kaiwera trainer Carl Hanna with his first training win when he impressively won the Fairbairn Plumbing Mobile Pace at Winton today.

Matty Williamson and Tairlaw Toll

The giant seven year old was bred by Brent McIntyre at Macca Lodge and began his career with Ascot Park trainer Brent Shirley followed by stints with McIntyre and Kyle Cameron. Hanna has only had Tairlaw Toll for two starts.

“He went super last week at Invercargill. They went 2-40 and it was a drop back in grade if anything,” said Matty Williamson who drove the gelding.

Williamson pushed the go button early on Tairlaw Toll and the intent was to stay in front.

“He rolled off the gate nice and once he found the front he was never going to get beat. He won easily.”

The winning margin was seven and a quarter lengths with the Brent McIntyre trained Sweet Annie running second. The winning time on an easy track was 2-56.3.

Out on his own at the finish

Hanna had a bit to do with Tairlaw Toll early in his career when he worked at Macca Lodge.

“Anyone who knows the horse would tell you how much ability he has but he doesn’t always click. It was just great to see him win again today. After he won two races for Brent (McIntyre) and ran fourth in the South of the Waitaki he got crook. It took him a long time to come back. Kyle has done a great job with him taking him to the West Coast and to Blenheim so a lot of credit must go to him,” Hanna said.

Hanna manages a 450 cow dairy farm at Kaiwera on the Clinton – Mataura back road where he trains Tairlaw Toll.

“I just train him round the paddocks and gallop him up the hills. He’s a quirky horse but I’ve always got on with him. I don’t know why.”

Hanna, his mother Pam Ashworth and step father and former trainer Ross Rennie race the horse on lease from Macca Lodge.

“When I sent him up to the Kyles I wanted them to have a horse to see race in Canterbury. Ross has had a huge influence on my involvement with horses.”

Today’s win was Tairlaw Toll’s sixth from forty four starts.

Better’s Tart Wins Belle Heat

Bruce Stewart

3rd February 2022.

When winning today at Winton Better’s Tart looked to be returning to the form she showed in her extended three year old season when she won three of her first five starts.

She then struggled a bit in what proved to be a very strong group of three year old fillies.

Better’s Tart warming up for Matty Williamson

The Bettors Delight mare hinted that trainer Brent White had her back to her best when she ran second at the Northern Southland meeting in the middle of January and driver Matty Williamson drove her like the best horse in today’s race.

“She flew off the gate and she was strong throughout,” he said.

Better’s Tart took up the early running with second favourite Terror Maria hard on her back.

“She felt great going round the bend but we had a handy one on our back so it was a wee bit of a worry.”

Williamson reined the four year old up after turning in and she was gritty all the way to the line, beating Terror Maria by three quarters of a length.

“She was too strong and holding well at the line.”

The winning time was 1-56.5.

Ear back and the will to win-Better’s Tart

Today’s win was her fifth in nineteen starts, with Williamson at the reins to win her last two races.

“Since I’ve been driving her in her last few starts she’s just got better and better. She’s just progressing all the time like a good Bettor’s (stock of Bettor’s Delight) does.”

Meanwhile the Terry Chmiel trained Snow Robyn upset in the second heat of the Neville R Stud/Macca Lodge Southern Oaks. Taken straight to the front by driver Nathan Williamson, she held on to win by and length and a half.

More favoured runners including Play Philly, Suntan, and Feelthejoy were unable to get past her.

The Rock n Roll Heaven three year old filly is owned by Robert and Sharon Symon.

The lady in pink Snow Robyn winning for Nathan Williamson

Three from Three – Might As Well

Bruce Stewart

6th February 2022

All trainers will tell you that winning three races in a row is a tough assignment but that’s what quality mare Might As Well did today at Wyndham.

“When you’re going good the modern handicap system catches up with you pretty quickly but luckily in Southland, we’ve got good mares and fillies’ races,” said trainer Des Baynes after the Well Said four year old lead all the way and won for driver Blair Orange.

Might As Well heading out to the racetrack with Blair Orange

It wasn’t an easy watch for Baynes who said he’s always wary of horses trained and driven by Nathan Williamson sitting in behind you ready to pounce.

“He’s such a good driver and trainer.”

But Baynes needn’t have worried at Might As Well let down nicely to win by two lengths with roughie Ellz Angel getting up for second a nose ahead of Glorafilia driven by Williamson.

Might As Well earplugs still in stretching out nicely at the finish

Back to the birdcage

Baynes says despite the mare’s good form it’s highly likely she’ll be sold at some point.

“Nobody has been beating my door down but there’s a good chance that I will sell her. I’ve got her half sister and her mother in foal.”

Baynes has a liking for the Ladyship races introduced to Southland a couple of seasons ago designed to cater for fillies and mares. Both Dress Code and Might Be Me have won Ladyships.

“At the moment she’d be better than Dress Code and Might Be Me. I don’t know where she stands overall, and I’ve never really asked Blair. I think she’s tougher than the others. Might Be Me is a high speed mare. She (Might As Well) is a January foal and that’s why I didn’t race her last year.”

Meanwhile former Southland bred and owned pacer Wild West upset in Friday night’s $450,000 Group One WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park in Perth Australia.

The giant Raging Bull gelding, bred and raced by Kevin Strong was initially trained at Winton by Lauren Pearson. He won his only start for Pearson on his home track in May 2019 before he was sold to clients of Gary Hall Senior.

He won eight of his first nine starts for Hall and his new owners and since being in Australia he’s won eleven of his twenty-six starts. Friday nights win was by far his biggest.

Wildwest and Brent Barclay

The six year old driven by Callam Suvaljka, found a gap late in the home straight and pushed through to win by a half a head from Miracle Moose at odds of 91 to 1.

Macca Lodge in Northern Southland stands Raging Bull, the sire of Wild West, and they also own Wildwest’s dam Bay Jet.

Champion pacer Chicago Bull after sitting parked for a majority of the 2936 metre feature, was another half a head back in third.

Southern horses have an excellent record in this Perth feature with I’m Themighyquinn winning in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and Chicago Bull in 2017.

Timzee Wins for Timzee and Lee

Bruce Stewart

6th February 2022

Colin Lee repeated his habit of winning with horses owned by Neil Timms that have started their race careers later in life.

Timzee, a six-year-old by Net Ten EOM is a further example, Jimmy Nga and Bigandme also being  previous late developers.

Timzee warming up for Colin Lee

Lee broke in Timzee as a yearling before injury curtailed further progress and he was turned out for a year.

“He was a lunatic when he was young. You just couldn’t get near his head and couldn’t get a bridle on him. He would just front foot you. Timzee (Neil Timms) and I have had horses for a long time and this horse was the next one, so you just go through the process,” said Colin.

Timzee eventually qualified in November 2020, running second, behind the talented Euro Beat at Winton before the horse went sore.

“He’s always had better than average ability as you saw today. You always look after those ones and not the slow ones (laughter),” said Timms.

Last season he had two workouts and went sore again.

The six-year-old had his first start on his home track at the Forbury Park meeting at the end of January but broke after leaving the gate, finishing twelfth.

“He had the jawbreaker on him at his first start and that’s why he galloped because he fought against me,” Colin said.

But since that run Lee has added earplugs to the gear, and he improved by running second midweek at Winton.

“I still reckon that race didn’t trim him up enough.”

Today the gelding started from barrier seven.

“I thought it would be hard from out there, but he chased the gate a bit. I wasn’t going to pull back anyway.”

After leading early Lee handed up to first starter Sonny Maguire at the 1200 metres.

“I could have held him out, but I know Brad’s horse was the favourite. He sprinted up better today than he did at Winton. With the earplug he’s actually quite dead (switched off) especially when you get going.”

Turning in Lee got Timzee stoked up and he quickened up the passing lane to beat a game Sonny Maguire by a length and a quarter.

Timzee on the inside about to be joined by Sonny Maguire

Close to the finish

Win number 50 for Colin Lee driving Timzee

Back to the birdcage

Timzee heading out to welcome in his namesake

Timzee is out of the Live Or Die mare One Ali and Timms has a three-year-old gelding out of the mare by Raging Bull called Raupunga Lad which is being trained by Brent McIntyre.

“Ben Waldron trained the mare (One Ali), and she was really speedy. I actually gave her away as a riding hack, but they couldn’t ride her, so I got her back and put her in foal,” Neil said.

Although Timms wasn’t keen on naming the horse after him he left it up to Lee with a recommendation that he be named after his children.

“All my kids are called Timzee, and a lot of people will know a Timzee and would have backed him today.”

So, with win one on the board the team will now regroup and look to place the horse for his next assignment.

“It’s not going to be easy, but you’d say he’d win another one,” Colin said.

Meanwhile fresh faced two-year-olds fronted for the first time at the Winton trials on Friday.

Tennessee Whiskey (colt by Net Ten EOM out of Shipshewana Flight), trained by Brent McIntyre won the mobile 1609 metre heat in 2-07.0 beating He’s Never Been Beta (colt by He’s Watching out of Never Been Better) trained by Kirk Larsen. Hooked On Winning (colt by Sweet Lou out of Dancing Dixie) with Clark Barron was a half a length back in third.

Tennessee Whiskey (3) winning his two year old heat

Shadow Play three-year-old Brookies Player (Ross and Chris Wilson) won his qualifying heat in 3-07.1 beating McLean (Brett Gray) by a nose with two and a half lengths back to Sir Lancelot (Hamish Hunter) in third.

Brookies Player winning his qualifying heat

Southern Yearlings on The Market This Week

Bruce Stewart

13th February 2022

Southern Standardbred Yearling preparers will be hard at work polishing up their bloodstock for the NZB Standardbred National Sales in Christchurch this week.

For the last few years Southern lots have been consistently top sellers and hopefully the trend will continue this year.

Southern breeders have very good numbers with a good mixture of colts and fillies both in the pacing and trotting breds.

Winton’s John and Katrina Price don’t have the fire power they had last year when they sold Chicago Bear for $310,000 and Mandinka for $320,000. But this year they’ve ventured into new territory, consigning their first trotter – a Father Patrick filly out of Chevron Express. Her wins included the New Zealand Trotting Oaks.

“She’s a lovely individual with a desirable pedigree, conformation and temperament. She has great length and a lovely head and kind eye. She has bloomed during her preparation and has developed significantly since videos and photos were taken in late December early January. She’s out of a New Zealand three year old Trotting Filly of the Year who in turn was out of a New Zealand two year old Trotting Filly of the Year,” said preparer Katrina Price.

Their other yearling is an Always B Miki colt out of Christian Cullen mare Surprise Party. Surprise Party is the dam of Repartee, Stag Party and Yankee Party.

Steve Baucke has two yearlings at this year’s sale, both fillies, including Lot 277, an Always B Miki filly out of seven win Bettor’s Delight mare Delight My Soul. She’s out of the Black Watch family and has a host of black type winners on her pedigree page.

Referring to Kentucky Rain, Steve said “She’s much like her mother, very determined, a great eater and a lovely looking filly with a great nature and conformation to boot.”

Dave and Dawn Kennedy are preparing seven yearlings for the Sale.

Kennedy produced the highest selling trotter on the first day of the Sale last year with Concise selling for $120,000.

He says there are three stand out yearlings this year. The Always B Miki filly out of Beaudiene Babe – he says this filly is by a ‘trending up’ sire out of the prolific breeder Beaudiene Babe who has left a host on black type winners including Four Year Old Pacing Mare of the Year Beaudiene Bad Babe (22 wins) and Beaudiene Boaz (25 wins).

He also likes his Bettor’s Delight colt out of five win Christian Cullen mare Lulabelle Midfrew. She’s already left black type winners in Luisanbelle Midfrew (5 wins) and Letsgotothehop (8 wins).

Dave rounds out his selections with his Sweet Lou – Galleons Cheer filly. This is the family of recently sold Duke Of Cornwall and quality mare Cheer The Lady.

Shard Farm is the biggest preparer in the SBSR group with thirteen yearlings on Debbie and Mark Smith’s books. Captain Norman K is one they feel is shaping up well.

“He’s named after Mark’s late father, a special horse and the star of the Shard Farm draft. He looks mature, is straight, well conformed and has had huge interest amongst the early buyer visits. He’s got a beautiful nature and is a half brother to the star performer Romeo Shard who had three wins from five starts leading into Cup week,” Debbie said.

Julie Baynes also has high numbers this year with eleven youngsters under her guidance.

On the trotting front Julie has put the spotlight on her Love You – One Over Da Skye colt.

“He’s a stunning looking chestnut colt and the first foal out of One Over Da Skye who is out of the Multiple Group One winner and producer One Over Kenny. He is a correct type with a big walk and floating trot. Definitely one to watch out for,” Julie said.

On the pacing front Julie highlights Lot 267, an American Ideal colt named Bryson Dechambeau.

“There are only two American Ideal colts in the Christchurch Sale. His dam Classical is the Dual Group One winner and former Two Year Old Filly of The Year. He’s an athletic colt with a very good nature and attitude.”

Arden Lodge has nine yearlings at next week’s sales.

John and Judy Stiven have selected Lot 407 as the pick of their draft.

Named Pride Of Arden, this Captaintreacherous filly is out of 2021 Southland Broodmare Award Of The Year and winner of nine races, Southwind Arden.

She’s a three quarter sister to South Coast Arden, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding which won both the 2021 Group One Four Year Old Emerald, and the NZ Free for All in a NZ record time and 1.51.3 mile rate.

“Arden Lodge is very proud to offer her for sale. She foaled on the 6th November and has developed into a lovely strong and powerful filly – one who has both the looks and the pedigree to offer confidence in her ability to go on to perform as a racehorse,” Judy said.

Murray Little’s Havtime brand is fronting again at the Sales with four yearlings on the market. He’s excited about his Art Major filly out of One Christian. She’s a half sister to six win Auckland based pacer Christianshavtime.

One Christian’s second foal, a full sister to this yearling is getting ready to qualify for Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray and her potential excites Little.

“We had a workout for her on Saturday (last). She went well and ran under qualifying time with the last quarter run in 27 and a bit. She looks like an early two year old filly,” he said.

Winton trainer Chelsea Faithful is venturing into her first sale with two lots under her care.

On behalf of Trevor Proctor and Diane Dynes, Tact Teena will be offered on the second day of the Sale.

It’s a rare chance to buy into the famous Tact family. This Bettor’s Delight filly is out of ten win Christian Cullen mare Tact Lizzie whose five foals of racing age are all black type. Tact Lizzie’s best performer is Tact Tate which has won fifteen races including the Group One NSW Bohemia Crystal.

“An outstanding, well grown filly from the well-known Tact breed. She’s sure to catch your eye,” Faithful said about the first pacing lot to be put up for auction.

Long time breeder Vin Devery has two fillies heading to the sale including an Art Major filly out of Natal Franco the winner of seven races. She’s named Delightful Molly and is being prepared by Debbie and Mark Smith.

“Delightful she is too, a lovely Art Major filly, well-proportioned and extremely well related.

This filly is related to Alta Wise Guy; Omakau Cup, Invercargill Cup winner, and first up winner Lady Arts. Molly is the sweetest and kindest filly to work with, never puts a foot wrong and always willing to perform any task that she is asked. Buyer interest is high,” Debbie said.

Phil and Bev Williamson under the Ardgowan Lodge brand are prepping four well bred yearlings for this year’s sale.

Amongst their draft is a Father Patrick colt out the Sundon trotting mare Nice One Kenny. This yearling is closely related to Queen Elida a rising trotting star in Australia. Last season she won both the Group One NSW Trotting Oaks and Breeders Crown for three year old trotting fillies. She’s won eleven races in a short period of time including her last seven races.

“He’s a stocky set little fella. He trots out with a nice style on the lead. On type he’s the right size to make a two year old. He’s strong, athletic and a nice moving horse,” Phil says.

Noel and Diane Cournane have a Bettor’s Delight colt out of Flight For Glory heading to the Sales. Flight For Glory won the New Zealand, NSW, Queensland and Gold Coast Oaks and has a mile record of 1-52.1.

“This is the mare’s third foal and first colt. Fight for Glory is a multiple Group One winner. He is a lovely well conformed Bettor’s Delight, fantastic nature, straight, and handles everything in his stride. Early Buyer interest has been strong with this colt,” Debbie Smith his preparer said.

Todd and Fleur Anderson under the Taffy brand have five yearlings heading to Christchurch and the greatest interest will be on Lot 318, a Captaintreacherous colt out of Imaginary Bet. His half brother Merlin was an impressive winner at Alexandra Park recently for Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan.

There are a host of other yearlings with southern connections, and we wish all the vendors all the best for next week.

Break Out – Family Affair

Bruce Stewart

Saturday 12th February 2022

Upset winner in today’s Neville Cleaver Fishing Aparima Trot Break Out, has had quite a journey and the win today was very special for the Hurst family from Rakaia.

The mare is owned by Mandy and Tony Hurst and their children Jeff Hurst and Jackie Dwyer.

Mandy is Ricky May’s sister, so she was born and bred into the game.

“When my uncle (Leo May) finished with racing because of cancer he asked us if we would like Mary Poppins which we gladly did, and that’s how we bred Break Out,” she said.

Break Out began her career with Gerard O’Reilly, winning three races from his stable.

“She went sore at Gerard’s so we decided to turn her out and put her in foal. After she foaled, we asked Amber if she’d be keen to take her on. Amber started with this big fat mare, and she’s turned her into this gorgeous racehorse.”

Break Out’s foal is a yearling filly by Royal Aspirations.

“Gerard has broken her in and he thinks she’s alright,” said Tony who was playing golf in a two-day tournament at Methven with son Jeff.

“We’d like to thank Robert Morton who did a lot of work with Break Out when she was young. He was a local identity around Raikaia and he’s now the track manager at Cromwell,” said Jeff.

Jeff says Break Out is enjoying her life with Hoffman and working on the beach at Waikouaiti.

“Amber’s such a hard worker. She got the mare in May and to have Break Out come back after having a foal and win a race before Christmas was just amazing. We were doing cartwheels and to win today was icing on the cake. She’s such a family horse,” Jeff said.

Mandy and good friend Jude O’Connor were on Stewart Island this week and had to arrange an early trip home to the mainland when they realized Break Out was racing today.

In today’s trotting feature driver Sheree Tomlinson settled the seven year old last in the nine horse field. For the last half of the race Break Out raced in the one one. At the 450-metre mark Tomlinson pushed the go button and the mare surged forward to challenge leader Sundons Flyer and with 50 metres to run, she hit the front going to beat Charlie P by a length.

Break Out stretching to win the Aparima Trot

Today was Break Out’s fifth from just twenty-nine starts.

“It was much better than the golf,” Jeff said.

Mandy Hurst and Amber Hoffman

Toasting the win Mandy Hurst and good friend Jude O’Connor

The Hurst’s will have more excitement next week when they offer a Betting Line filly out of Christian Cullen mare Nicky Anew at the Christchurch sales.

Meanwhile the next crop of two-year-old fillies were at the Winton Workouts yesterday.

Micaitlen Denario (Captaintreacherous – Shezaball) won nicely for trainer Nathan Williamson.

Micaitlen Denario winning for Nathan Williamson

The win was timely for breeders Mark and Pauline O’Connor as they have an Always B Miki colt at next week’s sales out of Shezaball named Miki Jagger.

Girlshavetime (Art Major – One Christian) came home from well back to nab second. Owner Murray Little will also have a full sister in next week’s sale so Girlshavetime’s good run today was timely.

The Black Flash improved on his first workout run last Friday when he impressively won the Two-Year-Old Colts and Gelding mobile mile heat. The $140,000.00  purchase looked to have potential when he ran the mile in a smart 2-02.0 beating Captain Bligh (Captaintreacherous – Askmenow) by one and a quarter lengths.

The Black Flash letting down nicely

Te Anau trainer Wayne McEwan looks to have a nice type in Major Fire. He’s closely related to Northern Southland Cup winner Ears Burning. In the 2400 metre mobile heat be beat Foveaux Strait by a neck running the distance in 3-07.0.

Major Fire winning for JC Bennett

Quality three-year-olds Sand Wave and Hurricane Hendrix both got their standing start ticket when they ran over 2400 metres. Sand Wave won by a nose.

Sand Wave (inside) beating his stablemate

Aviator Navigates Win

Bruce Stewart

Saturday 12th February 2022

In one of the most exciting Riverton Cups in years, Macandrew Aviator got himself off the canvas after being headed by hot favourite Pembrook Playboy to win today’s $20,000 feature by a nose.

The Panspacificflight gelding looked to be beaten halfway down the straight but found a mountain of tenacity and won by the barest of margins.

Macandrew Aviator warming up for Craig Ferguson

Trained by Kirstin Barclay he’s been one of the finds in the south this season and he continues to take the next step up in what can be a very tough grade.

After a good beginning driver Craig Ferguson took the five-year-old into the one one with Love On The Rock taking up the pacemaker’s role.

With a lap and a half to run Ferguson took Macandrew Aviator to the lead. With just over a lap to run Pembrook Play moved forward but was forced wide before slotting into the one one. With 400 metres to run driver Nathan Williamson moved Pembrook Playboy forward and it was game on.

With a lap to run Macandrew Aviator leads with Memphis Tennessee in the middle and Pembrook Playboy on the outside.

On straightening Ferguson glanced around expecting to run second but Macandrew Aviator had other ideas and despite being headed, Macandrew Aviator got the nod.

Macandrew Aviator (6) hangs on to win.

The owners reaction in the stand

Winning connections

Sponsor and connections with two cups!!

Macandrew Aviator was bred by vet Megan Tutty and was named after a subdivided block of land in Riversdale, and one of the horse’s breeders who has his pilot’s license.

“I was doing a lot of work at Macca Lodge at the time and Brent (McIntyre) was bringing in Panspacificflight semen. He said he crosses best with Artsplace mares, and I happened to get one (Arts Mistress),” Megan said.

Arts Mistress was trained by Ascot Park trainer Murray Brown for the Highlander Syndicate and was placed a number of times from ten starts. The syndicate bred from her for a number of seasons before Tutty took her on in the mid 2000s.

“He’s only the second horse we’ve bred so the win today was pretty awesome. The other one was Macandrew Majic which Tony Stratford trained. He won a race and then split a pastern.”

It was noted by the ownership group that in all of the horses wins he’s either been number one, number six or sixteen.

“Sixteen is my lucky number so that’s quite handy.”

Interestingly the horses winning divided today was $6-60.

Megan said all of the credit for Macandrew Aviator’s rich vein of form must go to his Tisbury trainer. It was Barclay’s third Riverton Cup in as many years.

“He’s massive and very athletic so it’s just been time. Kirstin has taken her time with him. When he first went to the workouts, she said ‘let him choose the pace.”

Macandrew Aviator was bred by Megan along with her father Mark Reidie, and brothers Andrew and Jamie Reidie.

“We leased out a half share to a syndicate that my dad’s in (Kiwi Connection Syndicate). They’re all members of the Waikiwi Rugby Club.”

Today’s win was the horse’s sixth in just twenty starts and he now has two cups on the mantelpiece – the Cromwell and Riverton Cups.

Meanwhile the full set of Harness Racing Annuals that have been on Trade Me raising funds for Team Teal were sold today for $810.00.

Kindly donated by Southern racing personality Art Bloxham, the set created spirited bidding and the auction winner is believed to be Te Anau trainer Wayne ‘Ox’ McEwan.

The Riverton Trotting Club thanks all those who took part in the auction.

The next Riverton meeting will be held at the Central Southland Raceway in Winton on Friday 4th March.

The day includes a $12,000 Two-Year-Old Fillies race over 1609 metres, the second heat of the Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes worth $15,000, a $12,000 Gold Chip Final, a $12,000 Nugget Final and the third heat of the Southern Belle Speed Series worth $12,000 and run over the mile. There are also plenty of opportunities for trainers to use junior drivers across the day. The meeting starts at 3pm.

Yearling Sales Done and Dusted

Bruce Stewart

19th February 2022

Once again Southland lots commanded centre stage at the 2022 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sale in Christchurch with the top lot prepared by Debbie and Mark Smith of Shard Farm on behalf of Noel and Dianne Cournane. The Bettor’s Delight colt out of Fight For Glory was sold to Stonewell Stud for $260,000.

“It was very exciting. Diane had put a reserve of $100,000 but within a few bids it was up to $150,000 – $160,000 and when things start to go through the $200,000 bracket it’s starts to get pretty exciting. Mark Purdon wanted it – he came and inspected him. Stonewell Stud also wanted it and they got him. We’re real happy for Diane,” Mark said.

Sale topper – Build For Glory

Beaudiene Breeding sold an Always B Miki filly out of multiple black type producer Beaudiene Babe for $180,000 whilst Chelsea Faithful at her first sale, prepared a Bettor’s Delight filly out of Tact Lizzie which sold to Mark Jones for $150,000.

Other southern yearlings to sell well were a Bettor’s Delight – Beaudiene Maja Babe colt (Duncraigen Farm) $120,000, a Captaintreacherous – Priscilla Shard colt (Shard Farm) $110,000, a Love You – One Over Da Skye (White Stable) $100,000 and an Always B Miki – Shezaball colt (Denario Breeding) $100,000.

Tact Teena

Always B Miki – Beaudiene Babe filly

Captaintreacherous – Priscilla Shard colt

Always B Miki – Shezaball colt

The sale success for southern breeders continues a great run for the group over the past few years.

Last Year Southern Bred Southern Reared presented the top two lots in a Bettor’s Delight – Hartofdixie colt which sold for $320,000 and a colt by the same sire out of Chicago Blues which sold for $310,000. Both were consigned by Price Bloodstock.

In 2020 SBSR produced the top yearling pacer by Bettor’s Delight out of Pemberton Shard which sold for $280,000 and the fourth highest sales lot by Bettor’s Delight out of Democrat Party which was sold for $210,000.

This year SBSR took sixty four yearlings to the sales, selling fifty by the end of day three. The yearlings made a total of $2,691,500 and earned an average price of $53,830.

“I think we missed out a bit at the mid to lower end because there was no parade prior to the sale, because of Omicron.”

Smith says there were lots of good stories across the sale including long time breeder Russell Morton selling his American Ideal colt for $48,000 late on day three of the sale.

“We were thrilled for Russell. It was the highest price he’s ever got.”

Todd and Fleur Anderson from Central Southland sold nine lots fetching $802,000 for an average of $89,111.

Dave and Dawn Kennedy had success, selling their four lots for an aggregate of $258,000 with an average of $64,500.

The top southern buyer was Otago trainer Graeme Anderson who bought six yearlings at the Christchurch sale, and another three at the Auckland sale.

From the Southland buying bench Neville Cleaver $110,000, Brendon Fahy $60,000 and Tony Stratford $60,000 paid the highest prices. Cleaver bought a Bettor’s Delight’s colt whose second dam San Rafaella also produced Franco Santino. Cleaver owned Franco Santino and won nine races with it during it’s racing years.

Shard Farm were the second leading consignors on aggregate at the Sale entering fourteen lots and selling thirteen for a total of $760,000 with an average of $58,462.

Other leading Southern Consignors (Aggregate):

  • White Stable: twelve entries – ten sold for $487,500 for an average of $48,750
  • Arden Lodge: nine entries – seven sold for $325,000 for an average of $46,429

SBSR lots to sell for $70,000 or more were:

  • Bettor’s Delight – Fight For Glory (Shard Farm) $260,000
  • Always B Miki – Beaudiene Babe (Beaudiene Breeding) $180,000
  • Bettor’s Delight – Tact Lizzie (Chelsea Faithful) $150,000
  • Bettor’s Delight – Beaudiene Maja Babe (Duncraigen Farm) $120,000
  • Captaintreacherous – Priscilla Shard (Shard Farm) $110,000
  • Love You – One Over Da Skye (White Stable) $100,000
  • Always B Miki – Shezaball (Denario Breeding) $100,000
  • Captaintreacherous – Tricky Woman (Arden Lodge) $85,000
  • Always B Miki – Lew’s Delight (White Stable) $72,500
  • Rocknroll Hanover – Don’t u Wantme Baby (R.D. Nevill) $70,000
  • Art Major – New Year’s Jay (White Robe Lodge) $70,000
  • Lazarus – Real Wings (Arden Lodge) $70,000
  • Andover Hall – One Over Da Stars (White Stable) $70,000

Finally – In The Groove

Bruce Stewart

20th February 2022

Twenty four start maiden trotter In The Groove, after running eleven seconds and four thirds, finally got what he deserved at Gore today – his first win.

In The Groove trots up on the inside for his first win

Owned by Penny and Kenny Baynes of Baynes Racing, the five year old led early for regular pilot Brent Barclay before handing up to Bacardi Pride. Once the two leaders straightened for the long run in, it took the length of the straight for In The Groove to get the better of Bacardi Pride but he eventually won by a head.

“He started off a bit on the weak side and then some of his seconds were against quite good horses. After eleven seconds we finally got there,” said trainer Brett Gray.

In The Groove is by Lucky Chucky out of Gee Whizz 11 mare It’s A Whiz. It’s A Whiz’s first foal Springbank Richard won twenty races including the 2009 Dominion Handicap, Three and Four Year Old Rubys, an Interdominion Heat and a Victorian Trotting Derby.

Today was In The Groove’s first run back since coming in seventh at Invercargill on the 12th of January.

“He always goes good fresh and likes the grass, so we knew he was going to get round okay.”

On the back of his impeccable formline punters made the square gaiter the favourite and once he settled behind the pacemaker the confidence levels grew.

“He gets a bit keen at home and works like Tarzan (laughter).”

The Baynes can be sellers, but having held onto In The Groove both Penny and Kenny enjoyed the win from the Gore grandstand today.

“They’ve been patient. He’s been a great wee earner. When Peregrine (owned by Penny) won her third race In The Groove had won as much money, and hadn’t won a race. Because his manners are so good, I think he could win place money in the next grade.”

Back to the birdcage

Winning connections

Meanwhile Wyndham trainer Ricky Gutsell notched his first training double today when Still Rockin and Insarchatwist won. Both are by A Rocknroll Dance out of Insar. It’s a family that goes back to Locarno (18), Ostrava (10) and Agrinion (9).

It was a brilliant day for Team Teal with Sheree Tomlinson (The Jafa Express), Kirstin Barclay (Still Rockin), Sarah O’Reilly (Fast Whispering and Timzee), Sam Ottley (Lou’s Deal) and Kerryn Tomlinson (Domination’s Call) all contributing to the cause. Class on grass!!!

Fast Whispering wins for Bond

Bruce Stewart

20th February 2022

Mataura trainer Lyndon Bond is gaining a reputation for being able to of get a bit more out of trotters that have been struggling, or have issues with their manners.

There’s no better example than Fast Whispering which has been with Bond since Christmas, and won impressively today at the Gore Grass meeting.

Fast Whispering winning for Sarah O’Reilly

“After we went to Christchurch Noel Taylor (Timaru owner and former trainer) rang me and asked me if I would pick her up and take her home and she’s done a lovely job,” Bond said.

Taylor qualified the Superfast Stuart mare in May 2019, and she won at Methven in October 2020 in the hands of Matty Williamson.

“She’d been missing the starts and whacking away. Matty said she’d be worth a try and said she’d do a good job, and she has.”

Since being housed at Mataura the seven year old has run three fourths, three thirds and a second, from eight starts.

“I think she’s improving all the time and the grass suited her today because her only win was on the grass.”

Driver Sarah O’Reilly gave Fast Whispering a dream trip slotting in behind pacemaker Foreigner.

When the two turned out of the final bend O’Reilly took the seven year old mare down centre track and she won by two and a quarter lengths from Foreigner with a further two lengths back to late charging Afterburner.

“Today being penalty free with Sarah driving her she doesn’t move up a grade, so she’ll have another crack at the cherry.”

Back to the winners circle

Thumbs up from Lyndon Bond

Bond who had a stellar season last year has continued his strong vein of form.

“I’m getting better quality stock and using the big Wyndham tracks which has been great.”

Meanwhile Mark and Pauline O’Connor’s good week continued when Micaitlen Denario won her qualifying trial at Invercargill on Friday.

At last week’s Christchurch Sales they sold an Always B Miki colt out of Shezaball for $100,000 and the way his half sister by Captaintreacherous won for trainer driver Nathan Williamson indicates plenty of potential.

The Black Flash continued on his winning way when he won his two year old trials for colts and geldings. The Bettor’s Delight colt owned by Neville Cleaver easily got his qualifying ticket. He’s Never Been Beta from the Kirk Larsen team ran second.

Another son of Always B Miki, Always B There, trained by Jeremy Douglas and driven by Craig Ferguson beat stablemate Macandrew Navigator.

Hey Miki Denario continued the good run for the O’Connor’s when she won her workout for trainer Brett Gray and driver Brett Barclay. She’s also by Always B Miki out of Wantapieceofme.

Wai Key Wee who has been off the scene for nearly a year returned to the track to trot all the way and win his workout for trainer driver Alister Black.

Rollon Summer trained by Lauren Pearson easily won her heat in the hands of Brent Barclay. She looks capable on winning first up.

Watchlist beat two other rivals in his workout in the hands of Craig Ferguson.

With a good number of quality three year old colts and geldings starting to show in Southland, most will be aimed at next month’s Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes at the Riverton meeting at Winton.

Charlie On Hold

Bruce Stewart

25th February 2022

Uunfortunately promising three year old Sporty Charlie has been sidelined with a virus, and his trainer isn’t faring much better.

Brad Morris has been nursing a broken leg since a young horse lashed out, and although his cast is off, the leg needs more time.

The accident meant that Winton trainer Lauren Pearson took over the training of the Sportswriter gelding – her partner Brent Barclay is the regular driver of the horse.

Since being under the care of Pearson the horse has had two workouts, running third behind Might Be Me in the middle of January, and running second behind cup horse Pembrook Playboy a week later.

“He didn’t go that great in his last workout, so we put it down to a virus. He’s been treated and he’s had a couple of hopple runs back now. He’s still probably a month away from going to the races. He seems happy in himself,” Pearson said.

Sporty Charlie won his first two races as a two year old in the extended season last year before heading to Addington on Cup Day where he ran a creditable sixth.

He’s expected to add spice to the emerging group of three year old colts and geldings getting ready for the $50,000 Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes in April.

The next heat in the Supremacy is at the Riverton Meeting next Friday at Winton.

Pembrook Playboy In ‘The Race’

Bruce Stewart

25th February 2022

Pembrook Playboy will represent Southland in the $900,000 “The Race” at Cambridge on 14th April.

The Race concept is based around individuals, groups or companies buying a slot in the event on a three year contract. Their investment provides The Race with its funding and each slot holder then goes about getting a horse to represent them in The Race.

“It’ll be exciting, and being the inaugural running they’ll put a whole heap of promotion into the day,” said Pembrook Playboy’s trainer Nathan Williamson.

Waikato based Dunstan Horse Feeds have purchased one of the nine slots and they went early in selecting Southland pacer Pembrook Playboy to represent them in April’s feature.

“They’ve been great and really wanted to get behind Southland racing. It’s great that they’ve chosen him. Hopefully he can run a good race for them.”

Prepared at Branxholme by Williamson, Pembrook Playboy starts his buildup for the big challenge by running against a handful of Open Class pacers at Ashburton on Saturday, and Williamson says the field is a strong one.

On Wednesday morning Southern Harness Website was at Branxholme when Williamson worked the entire over 2400 metres with a galloping pacemaker, running the distance in 3-16 with the last 800 in 60 seconds.

“That’s pretty good on my track. He doesn’t inspire you with his work. He runs in and out and all over the show and only does what he has to. I was happy with his work. He’s bright.”

Heading out from the barn

Down to the track

Warming up

Working behind the galloping pace maker

All done

Pembrook Playboy will face the likes of Spankem and Better Twist and hardened war horse Classie Brigade.

“I think he’ll be up for the challenge. On his best day he’s pretty smart. He’s drawn inside a couple of good ones so hopefully he can scoot out of the gate and get a nice spot.”

The Ashburton race is over 1609 metres.

“He’s pretty adaptable. Generally I don’t train them a lot of miles and get them too reved up.”

After Ashburton Williamson plans to give Pembrook Play a freshener and look at some feature races at the end of March and early April at Addington.

“We’ll see how he goes on Saturday and evaluate it one week at a time.”

The plan is to have Pembrook Playboy spending most of April and May in the north.

“I’m booked in to stay with Andrew and Lyn Neal and obviously there’s some feature racing coming up in Auckland after The Race. The horse will probably stay up there for about six weeks or so and his last start before winter will be in the Auckland Cup at the end of May. The Neals have got an awesome property and the horse settled in well the last time we were up there.”

The Southern Harness website will follow Pembrook Playboy all the way to the big feature with regular reports on his progress and post race comments and thoughts from trainer/driver Nathan Williamson as they plot a path to the April feature.

The Race

Date: Thursday April 14, 2022

Venue: Cambridge Raceway

Distance: 2200m

Stake: $900,000

Gait: Pace

Age: 3YO+

Class: FFA

Preferential Draw: 3YOs then Mares