Dallas Grimes Gets Win
The Murray Brown trained Dallas Grimes an unlucky second on debut, got the winners cheque today at the Northern Southland meeting at Ascot Park when she proved too good in the Kubala Seeds Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace.
Initially trained by John Hay she was offered on lease to Brown as a two year old.
“He (Hay) was cutting down a bit and had a couple for lease, and I chose her. She’s been to the workouts as a two year old. She’s a nice wee mare and can only get better, we gave her a whole year off from her two year old season. John always said her was a bit light but she’s filled out,” said Brown.
After qualifying nicely at Winton the camp was confident of a good first up run on this track two weeks ago but she had to settle for second after clearing a tight pocket and closing late.
“He thought she’d win first up after the way she qualified. She’s got a good temperament and can be a bit rough in her gait but she’s getting better.”
The four year old mare is raced by Gone Trotting Syndicate, Jonah’s 11 Syndicate and regular Brown clients Scottie Ramsay, Murray Heath, Kevin McCallum, Barry Brown, Reece Rogers and Bevan Brown.
Dallas Grimes is named after a secondary antagonist in Beavis and Butt Head. She’s by Changeover out of the Bettor’s Delight mare Madison Lee and is closely related to Courage Under Fire.
Later in the programme some of the owners of Dallas Grimes tasted success again when the Shannon Armour trained mare Ivana Legacy in the hands of junior driver Charlotte Purvis won the Advance Agriculture Junior Drivers Pace.
Meanwhile Branxholme trainer Alister Black says two of his stable stars will be aimed at the South Of The Waitaki race on Show Day at Addington next month.
Both Lawrence and Kilowatt Kid could start at the Gore meeting this Saturday after they were sighted at the Winton Workouts yesterday.
Lawrence was impressive, winning his 2400 metre mobile heat by five lengths in 3-03.3 and running his last half in 58.4 seconds.
Stablemate Kilowatt Kid got within a neck of Mach’s Back in the R57-R68 heat.
Lawrence easily winning his Winton workout – Photo Bruce Stewart.
Pres The Belle Back
“It was a glorified trial more or less,” commented trainer Darryn Simpson after Pres The Belle won impressively at Ascot Park today.
It was the mare’s first run of the season and her sixth win from just seventeen starts. Prior to today’s race she’d had just one trial at Forbury Park (last week) in which she won easily by ten lengths.
“She won her trial quite nice. Her work’s been really good and her heart rate has been super. The way she worked on Thursday I thought she’d be very hard to beat.”
It’s expected that Pres The Belle will be improved from the run and Simpson noted she wasn’t blowing at all afterwards.
“She’d blow harder after a run at home.”
At the end of last season some thought was given to starting Pres The Belle at the Harness Jewels at Cambridge but Simpson says he’s glad he didn’t.
“I just didn’t think it was her. If it was in Christchurch we would have gone but I think it may have taken a bit more (weight) off her.”
And he says The Pres mare has matured during her break after spending six weeks at one of her owners – Dexter Nind’s Mataura Valley property.
“She had a bit of a growth spurt when she was out. She probably should have been racing a month ago but I thought I’d wait on her.”
He says the plan now is to race at the Tuapeka meeting at Forbury at the end of the month.
“Cup time is what we’re looking at after that. I think she’ll be competitive up there. She can do a bit of everything and she’s improved from last year.”
Finding a driver for Cup Week is also on the to do list for Simpson.
“I said to Tim we’ll get through Tuapeka where hopefully he can drive her, and we’ll go from there. I’m sure we’ll find someone up there.”
Pres The Belle is out of the Sundon mare Daisy Belle which won eight races for trainer Stu Campbell who has a share in Pres The Belle.
Meanwhile Ryal Bush trainer Peter Hunter was in sparkling form at the Northern Southland meeting, winning with Unloaded and My Georgie Boy and also getting a second with Bunter’s Dream. His only other runner Rakabeamer ran eleventh.
Brendon McIntyre Hunters brother in-law, shares in the ownership of My Georgie Boy and is in the Gottashearasheep Syndicate which races Unloaded.
Nottingham K Two Upsets
Gore trainer George Orr never lost faith in his trotter Nottingham K Two.
Yesterday at Gore most punters wouldn’t have given the horse any chance in a field where other horses had higher ratings. Orr wasn’t deterred though, especially sincde the Simon Roydon seven year old had run a close second to Amabede at Ascot Park last weekend.
Driver Hamish Hunter settled Nottingham K Two at third early, before taking him to the front with two laps to run.
Hamish Hunter has Nottingham K Two in front with two laps to run – Photo Bruce Stewart
With just under 1600 metres to go backmarker Grace O’Malley took over ,giving Nottingham K Two the perfect trail. Majestic Man was sitting parked.
Nottingham K Two getting a nice sit behind Grace O’Malley with a lap to run – Photo Bruce Stewart
At the top of the straight in the run to the finish Majestic Man hit the front but Hunter and Nottingham K Two came resolutely up the passing lane to nab the favourite by a head.
Nottingham K Two (5) on the inside getting the better of Majestic Man (13) – Photo Bruce Stewart
“I thought there were two or three that would be too good for him but he got away well and got into a good trail. I thought when Grace O’Malley went round that we’d be tough and if she could get us to the passing lane he’d do the rest. He does follow speed good and you saw last week in that race at Invercargill that he had nine horses in front of him at the half (finished second),” said Orr.
Heading back to the stable area – job done. Photo Bruce Stewart
“He’s a horse that’s got a lot of ability but it’s taken a long time to get it out of him and get all the ringcraft together. It’s a great thrill. I’ve never had many trotters. They’re a different ballgame and you’ve just got to take your time. Hopefully now we’ve turned the corner and we’ll go forward from here.”
He says it’s been a long process to get the horse to this point and he was very complimentary of veteran horseman Gary McEwan.
“I had Gary McEwan driving him and they did a lot of training together. If I hadn’t had Gary it’s hard to know where he would have finished up because he could have had ten drivers and eight could have said he was a mongrel.
Hamish Hunter who drove the horse yesterday, has also played a big part in shaping his career.
Nottingham K Two was bred by Orr who purchased his dam Strawb’s K Two off his breeder Brian Wastney in 2008. He was unaware of how the mare got her name until he got a phone call one day from a lady selling raffles.
“The raffle was for a centential jubilee for the Nelson or Blenheim Trotting Club. We got talking and she said ‘what have you got going?’ I said I had a trotter that was only a two year old that had a bit of ability. She asked me what he was by and out of and I told her. The next thing she was laughing on the end of the phone.
“She said ‘I actually broke the horse in. I was working for Martin Denton. I think it was him but I won’t guarantee that. It got it’s name because it climbed the wall of the shed, jumped out of the yards and did everything it could do to get away.’ (K2 is the second highest mountain in the world).
In the early part of his career Nottingham K Two showed raw ability but too often he broke and couldn’t make up the ground needed to feature in the finish.
“He’s done that all along. If you go back two years he was losing 100 metres at the start and just mowing other horses down. That gave me encouragement all the time.”
Orr also gained a certain amount of satisfaction winning this race (Colin Baynes Memorial) as he and his father spent a lot of time at Baynes Otama property.
“Dad (Len Orr) went to Colin Baynes or Alan Jones (Kina Craig) with five or six mares a year. I would have loved Dad to be here now. He hated trotters.”
Orr doesn’t train too may horses and the win yesterday was only his sixth. One horse he trained that he reckon’s never reached it’s potential was Nottingham VC. He won two races here and was placed ten other times on fifty one starts.
“He was a Cup horse but he broke two legs; one before he got started and it had to have five screws in it. The other one went after six or seven starts. He was a seven year old maiden and every time I took him to the races he was in the money if he was sound. I ended up selling him to Australia.”
Orr trains on a small track at Don Collett’s old Thoroughbred stud just out of Gore which was named Nottingham Park – hence the Nottingham name.
The win was Nottingham K Two’s second in thirty eight starts.
“He’s the type of horse that won’t win a million dollars. But we’ll have a bit of fun with him and I think he’ll go on.”
Delightful Deal Wins Ladyship
Branxholme trainer driver Nathan Williamson has always had a high opinion of Bettor’s Delight mare Delightful Deal and yesterday she vindicated his opinion when she beat The Empress in the Jaccka Lodge Ladyship Stakes Final at Gore.
This was the four year old’s fourth start and she had the draw (1) to work with. When favourite The Empress was taken to the front the perfect scenario fell into place for Williamson.
“Yep it worked out well from the draw. She went out well and we were just tracking the right horse all the way. She had come on a bit after her first up run which you’d have to expect,” said Williamson.
Delightful Deal getting the better of The Empress at Gore yesterday – Photo Bruce Stewart
Heading back to the stables with stablehand Oliver Kite – Photo Bruce Stewart
Delightful Deal qualified last year but the season didn’t pan out as well as Williamson had hoped.
“It was unfortunate but she got kicked in the back leg. It cost her because we were thinking she was good enough to have a crack at the Southland Oaks series. I’m not saying she was good enough to win it. Marty has been real patient.”
Owned by Winton plumber Marty Fairbairn, Delightful Deal was down to start her four year old season last month on this track but had to be scratched.
“The morning of the race she was holding her foot off the ground. She had an abcess burst out of her foot. But since then she’s been good and it’s just a matter of waiting on her.”
With win number one on the board Williamson is contemplating some bigger goals.
“We might give her another start down here in a fortnight, maybe look at going to Addington and look at the South Of The Waitaki race if she goes well.”
The win was one of four for Williamson who also won on Wayward Roc, Stay Aboard and Please Shuddup. His brothers Brad and Matty also won races on Mr Handleman (Brad) and Matinee Idol (Matty).
Matinee Idol and Matty Williamson loving the win. The big run was from Square Dealer which lost a lot of ground at the start, went round the field and got third. – Photo Bruce Stewart.
Mr Handleman with the easiest win of the day (eight and a quarter lengths) for Brad Williamson – Photo Bruce Stewart.
Another Williamson win – one of four for Nathan driving the Murray Brown trained Please Shuddup (removeable deafeners still on) – Photo Bruce Stewart.
The Tricode Racing Syndicate, Tricode Racing Syndicate Number Two and Dolce Syndicate – Photo Bruce Stewart
Craig Ferguson also drove two winners; Cool Scooter for Greg Hunter and Bridesdale Robyn for Ross Wilson. It’s was Wilson’s one hundredth training success. His first was with Mister Majestic at Roxburgh in April 1980.
Pearson’s Four Ready To Resume
Winton trainer Lauren Pearson will get an idea on Friday after the Winton Workouts as to where four of her tighter assessed pacers will be headed.
Duke Of Wellington, Governor’s Bay, Thisismylastflight and Zealand Star will start the serious part of their season during the next fortnight. Pearson will then map out where they’ll race subsequently.
Duke Of Wellington was Southland’s Horse of the Year last season winning five of his ten starts including his last four in a row. The season finished for the American Ideal gelding at Invercargill on Diamonds Day when he won the Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes after which he was spelled.
“We’ll give him a couple of workouts to see how he’s coming up. We haven’t made any plans for him and Merv (owner Merv Batterworth) doesn’t know what he’s doing with him yet. He feels well in himself and I reckon he’s got taller. I used to be able to reach over and put the cart on. Now I can’t,” said Pearson.
Once the four year old’s had a couple of workout runs Pearson will get serious about where Duke Of Wellington will start his four year old season.
“We’ve had a rough look (at the programmes) and maybe the second day at Wyndham, but he’ll be off a handicap. We had a look at the Junior Free For All but that was too tough first up.”
Governor’s Bay, a recent addition to the stable is also progressing nicely in the new campaign.
He was owned by Peter and Anne Bagrie and former Southlanders George Bennett and Paula Holmes before he was purchased out of Tom Bagrie’s stable in March by Butterworth.
He had one start at Winton for Brett Gray’s stable in April running seventh before heading out for a spell. His current rating is R54.
Another Butterworth owned pacer now with Pearson, Zealand Star, won three races last season including a Nuggets Final at Winton in February.
“They’re on the same path as Duke Of Wellington. We’ll see how they come through their workouts and try and find a race for them if they’re still here. Governor’s Bay is a 54 (rating horse) so he’ll be easy to place. Zealand Star is a 66 so he’ll be a little bit harder (to place).”
Pearson is now also training Thisismylastflight, the winner of four races. He was previously trained at Steven McRae’s Canterbury stable.
Fanny Hill Wins On Debut
The 3yr-old trotting filly Fanny Hill impressively won at Forbury Park today at her first start. She got up in the last few strides to win by a nose after giving the leader a start of several lengths at the 400m.
Fanny Hill, who qualified in three seconds under the required time at Oamaru on September 19, is trained there by Phil Williamson for Longbush (Southland) breeder John Duff.
She is by Muscle Hill and the first foal of Royal Squeeze, who won races at Gore and Ascot Park for Duff when trained by Tony Stratford.
A mare by Monarchy, Royal Squeeze has failed to conceive in two subsequent matings.
Fanny Hill winning at the Tuapeka Meeting at Forbury Park today – Photo Taylor Strong
The pacer Deckedindiamonds won eight races, three in New Zealand and five in Australia in the early 2000s when raced by Duff in partnership.
He also has a share in quality pacer Swamp Major which is trained by Regan Todd.
Pat’s Delight Delights Owners In Tuapeka Cup
Taylor Strong with quotes obtained by Bruce Stewart.
Pat’s Delight is on target for the New Zealand Free-For-All after a scintillating fresh up win in the Selwyn Paul Memorial Tuapeka Cup at Forbury Park today.
Pat’s Delight eclipsed his eight rivals in close to track record time in his first race since he won the Harness Jewels for 3yr-old colts and geldings at Cambridge in June. Pat’s Delight ran the 2700m in 3.21.6, 0.3sec outside the track mark set by Wrath Of Robyn in 2015.
Driver Ricky May sent Pat’s Delight to the front at the 1200m after starting from 30m and the son of Bettor’s Delight – Righteous Franco cleared out in the closing stages to win by six and three quarter lengths, the last 800m in 56.1.
“Cran (Dalgety, the trainer) told me to drive him like that. He needed a decent run with the NZ Free-For-All in mind,’’ said May.
It was May’s fourth win in the Tuapeka Cup, the first with Abbeyshrule in 1999 and the others with Owaka Jack (2001) and Explosive Art (2014).
“He did begin very well so that’s a bonus. Many people have told me about Eamon Maguire last year. There was only nine in it (Tuapeka Cup) and he was hot favourite, off thirty (metres) and he only beat one home. It’s very hard to catch a front runner if they run like rabbits up front. He (Pat’s Delight) began well and Ricky at the mile rolled to the top. Then he controlled his own last mile so he didn’t turn into being a chaser. So a smart drive from Ricky,” said Dalgety.
Rick May and Pat’s Delight winning the Tuapeka Cup – Photo Taylor Strong
Pat’s Delight, raced by breeders Pat and Margaret Kubala, of Gore, has now won 10 of his 22 starts and $194,000 in stakes.
“He (Pat’s Delight) has just strengthened up so much. I wanted to give him a decent break after the Jewels and that ruled out the NZ Cup this year,’’ said Pat Kubala
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way things have gone.”
Pat Kubala being interviewed by Tuapeka President Brent Taylor and Pat and Margaret Kubala with the Cup – Photos Taylor Strong.
Dalgety said he had the option of racing at Ashburton tomorrow or Tuapeka.
“We tossed the coin between the Ashburton Handicap and this race. What swayed us was Pat living down there (in Gore) and being an older man he doesn’t come to Canterbury a lot. So I thought it was a great opportunity to show him off to him. The stakes and handicap were similar and it’s only another couple of hours down the road. We were lucky enough to get some happy owners,” he said.
Dalgety says Pat’s Delight has developed into an impressive four year old stallion.
“It’s interesting. You see a lot of age group two and three year olds have a hollow four year old year. I don’t know how it works. When we turned him out he had six weeks and he just went from being a boy to a man in physique. We’ve been able to lift his work load and the intensity a bit higher and he’s accepted it so that’s been exciting. From Jewels Day to now he could be 26-28 kg’s heavier. I’m sure he’ll get a touch better too.”
Dalgety says he is considering the Kaikoura Cup as an option prior to the FFA but other than that he’ll remain close to home.
“He’ll stay pretty tight now.”
With today’s driver Ricky May committed to AG’s White Socks, Dalgety may have to look for another driver but he’s pretty relaxed about making that call.
“I’m not one to plan too far ahead because it blows up in your face. I’ll naturally throw Ricky in the mix. If he can drive him that’s great if he can’t he can’t.”
Trainer Dalgety and May also won with Buzinga and Just Dance. The stable had four horses at the meeting in charge of Dalgety’s son, Carter.
Buzinga a 3yr-old Bettor’s Delight – Safedra filly scored comfortably after racing in the open over 1700m.
It was her third win in four starts.
Just Dance stormed home wide out. She is raced by the Woodlands Partnership syndicate No 23, Kieran Read and Andy Ellis.
In charge – Carter Dalgety with Just Dance – Photo Taylor Strong
Glory For Well Bred Gelding.
Expensive yearling Honor and Glory recouped some of his $170,000 price tag when he impressively won his first race at Ascot Park today.
He was bred by local breeder Diane Cournane who shares in the ownership with her husband Noel and The Butterworth Racing Syndicate.
Honor and Glory was originally assigned to Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s Rolleston stable after his sale to Merv and Meg Butterworth but because of his size he was never going to race as a young horse.
“I think he was just growing too fast for his body,” said trainer Lauren Pearson who’s also a niece of the Cournanes.
The gelding was also trained for a short period by Knapdale trainer Robin Swain.
“He was at Robin’s jogging up. He couldn’t get around his track and kept galloping. Thankfully for us Robin recommended that he come here so he could be trained on a big track. We’ve had no problem with him galloping here.”
Prior to today’s debut the four year old Art Major gelding had won two workouts and two trials, hence his $1.30 starting price.
“The first time he went to the workouts he showed a bit of speed and has just got better and better.”
Pearson and her partner Brent Barclay who drove Honor and Glory, were relatively confident of a good showing today but had question marks around how he would go on the smaller Invercargill track.
“He worked really well with Duke Of Wellington on Tuesday but you can never be too confident. We were just worried about the track and the first bend.”
Honor and Glory winning easily on debut – Photo Bruce Stewart.
Coming back to the birdcage with driver Brent Barclay – Photo Bruce Stewart.
Brent Barclay, Honor And Glory, Lauren Pearson and Diane Cournane – Photo Bruce Stewart. Meanwhile Pearson is happy with the way Duke Of Wellington went at Friday’s workouts. He won his three horse heat in a good fashion and looks set for another very good season.
“He went real well and we’ll take him back (to the Workouts) again. He’s pulled up well and was bucking and kicking which is not like him.”
Duke Of Wellington and Lauren Pearson winning at the Winton Workouts on Friday – Photo Bruce Stewart.
Win Music To Symon’s Ears
Memphis Tennessee showed today at Ascot Park that he’s likely to be a force in the province’s major three year old races later in the season.
He showed a lot of tenacity in holding out a spirited Mighty Flying Art in the Rogerson’s Footwear Nuggets Final at the Invercargill HRC club meeting.
The Bettor’s Delight gelding is owned by Southland couple Robert and Sharon Symon and is trained at Leeston by Terry and Glenys Chmiel.
“He was owned by Wayne Higgs and trained by Mark Jones. He was actually sold but when the guy found out he wasn’t nominated for the Breeders Crown he wasn’t interested and that’s when we came on the scene. Terry trialed the horse and liked him and we purchased him as a two year old,” said Symon who gets a lot of satisfaction from racing his horses in his home province.
Some thought was given to starting Memphis Tennessee in The Harness Jewels at the end of his two year old season but time was always going to be the gelding’s best friend, and he was turned out for a good spell.
“He was close to getting into the Jewels but we decided being a small horse, he just needed time to bulk up which he had to do.”
The two major Southland targets this season are the $20,000 Super Nugget and the $50,000 Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes in April.
“You probably won’t see him down here till later in the season I don’t think.”
Being the highest rated horse in today’s Nuggets Memphis Tennessee drew the outside of the front row.
“Even though we got a bad draw Terry wasn’t too concerned.”
The winning margin was a neck from the very promising Mighty Flying Art.
Memphis Tennessee and Terry Chmiel beating Mighty Flying Art and Brent Barclay.
Memphis Tennessee is a full brother to Delightful Memphis, the winner of seven races.
Symon has been a very good investor in harness racing in the last twenty five years. The first horse he owned was the Son Of Afella gelding Sonny Brown which won nine races and was trained by his late father Russell.
“I’ve never been a breeder but I am this year. My good horse Nek Time has had a positive to Bettor’s Delight. With the breeding side too much can go wrong in my opinion and it’s painfully slow. I’d sooner pay a bit extra and have them running along.”
The Symons have been in the transport industry for 30 years and Symon’s Transport is now owned by Russell and Sharon’s son, making it a third generation business.
The Symons now farm deer on 200 acres at Waianawa.
For them the last year has been a bit of a roller-coaster having recently lost the services of Franco Tai which they’d sent to Australia for Amanda Turnbull to train.
“He was only there for two weeks, fell over and broke his pelvis and had to be put down. He was always my favourite and it was this time last year we were at Kaikoura winning the four year old race. So to be fair that was really upsetting.”
Fortunately racing has it’s highs as well as lows.
Other winners on the day included Better Galleon for Balfour trainer Robert Wilson, Pickett’s Ridge for John Ryan, and Vin Scully for trainer Hamish Hunter.
Bettor Galleon and John Morrison winning at Ascot Park – Photo Bruce Stewart
Picketts Ridge and Nathan Williamson after winning the main Trot of the day – Photo Bruce Stewart.
Kid Powers To Record
Kilowatt Kid looked smart enough last season but he appeared to have gone to another level when he won the Woodlands Motors Mobile Pace at Ascot Park today.
Last season Black found a formula for driving Kilowatt Kid that seemed to suit him.
“He’s just one of those horses that had to be covered up, then from about the 600 you’d start driving him positive,” said trainer Alister Black.
But Black has seen changes in the gelding this season.
“He’s stronger this year. He’s probably eating better too. Hopefully he’ll be able to do more work. Last year he couldn’t and he showed that. In the Supremacy he lead up and they went 3-20 (2700 metres) but he was found wanting at the top of the straight. But he still kept giving, and ran fifth.”
The South of the Waitaki is a race specifically for horses trained south of the Waitaki River. It features on Show Day at Addington and although it’s on the cards for Kilowatt Kid, it’s not a certainty.
“I haven’t decided yet but we’ll see how he comes through today and we’ll try and time it right.”
In today’s race junior driver Kimberly Butt got Kilowatt Kid into the perfect position in the one one with Mach’s Back trucking along in front. Kilowatt Kid was hooked out just before turning in and he won by a length and a quarter.
The winning time for the 2200 metre mobile was 2-39.6 and equalled the track and Southland record held by Mongolian Hero set in April last season.
It was the second time Mach’s Back has set up a Southland record. He led for most of the journey in Franco Santino’s track and Southland record of 1-52.0 at the Wairio meeting in March.
Today’s win by Kilowatt Kid was Black’s fiftieth as a trainer. His first was with Rome at Forbury Park in May 2010.
Meanwhile Black’s other star four year old Lawrence is recovering from an injury after running a brave second to Please Shuddup at Gore two weeks ago.
“He was sound as a bell after running second at Gore. He was fine after the wash and a half an hour later when we were to go home he couldn’t walk. It turned out to be a slight stress fracture in his pastern. It’s only about three or four mls long. It’s a month to six weeks out before he starts work again. We’re just very grateful for what Southern Vets have done for us. I thought I’d lost him. I thought he’d come back better than any of them. He’ll be back for the Country Cups Final and all things going well I’ll take him with Get Lucky to the Easter meeting.
“He’s (Get Lucky) come up really well. He’s still a bit cranky. He’s going to the workouts this Friday and he seems really bright.”
Lawrence warming up prior to his start at Gore – Photo Bruce Stewart.