Northern Southland Wrap

Northern Southland Wrap

Bruce Stewart

Junior driver Ellie Barron took luck out of the equation when she took Alpine Retreat straight to the lead in the first trot of the day at the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park today.

Alpine Retreat winning by the biggest margin of the day – Photo Bruce Stewart

She proceeded to open up a good margin on the chasing pack and with a good number of his rivals breaking, Alpine Retreat ended up winning by eleven lengths.

The win was a family affair as Grandfather Ron and father Clark (who trains the gelding) share in the ownership.

New Zealand’s leading driver Blair Orange made the most of a good draw when he took Yoha straight to the lead in the next race. He was able to dictate all the pace with favourite Renegade Rose on his back.

The three year old Terror To Love filly proved too strong, beating Renegade Rose by a length and three quarters with Allaboutjoy running home nicely for third.

Orange went back to back when another of the progeny of Terror To Love, Terror The Christian, beat another Canterbury visitor Payment Plan.

Co-trainer Chris Wilson missed seeing his first winner when Robyns Playboy returned to winning form in the Ultimate Machete at Alabar Handicap Pace.

Wilson, who now trains in partnership with his father Ross, was away in Oamaru watching his sons Callum and Riley playing hockey.

When Robyns Playboy last started in the Hannon Memorial, it finished seventh. Racing in a lower grade today helped his cause, and brought his wins to a total of seven.

Robbie Royale won his second race in as many weeks when he proved too strong for backmarker Monty Python in the feature trot of the day.

The six year old lead for part of the race before handing up to Monty Python with a lap to run. When the field straightened for the run home, driver Brent Barclay came up the inside to beat Monty Python by half a length with the handicap being the difference at the business end of the race.

Robbie Royale has now won seven races for Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray.

Well known Southland Harness Administrator Peter Burns passed away in Invercargill on Tuesday.

Peter Burns was an Accountant by profession and served for many years as Secretary for most of the Southern Clubs.

He also spent a long period on the Executive of Harness Racing New Zealand.

On the breeding front he was one of the leading lights in promoting the syndication of the successful imported sire Knowing Bret, and he managed the Syndicate’s financial affairs.

His late wife Rewa also enjoyed the harness industry as a breeder and owner.

The family’s finest homebred racehorse was Haughty Romeo. He was New Zealand’s first three year old pacer to go under two minutes when he ran 1-58.4 in a time trial at Winton.

Peter’s funeral will be held on Monday.