Plenty of Highlights in Southern Season

Plenty of Highlights in Southern Season

Bruce Stewart

29th July 2021

The Southern Harness season has well and truly wrapped up and will be highlighted at the annual Southland Harness Awards will be held at Ascot Park on Sunday 5th September.

Four Southland based pacers have made the final for the Southland Horse of the Year title, with each having a good chance to win the prestigious title.

The finalists are Pembrook Playboy, Ragazzo Mach, Vintage Cheddar and Watch Me Now.

Achievements:

Pembrook Playboy

  • Third in the Group Three Superstars at Addington behind Self Assured and Amazing Dream.
  • Won the Group Three Northern Southland Cup in a race, track and Southland record.
  • Won the Group Three Summer Cup at Addington, beating Self Assured and The Fixer. Other wins include the Group Three Invercargill Cup and the Group Three Central Otago Cup at Winton in which he beat Classie Brigade and Watch Me Now.
  • Finished his season by running third in the Listed Uncut Gems in Auckland.
  • The leading Southland trained stake earner banking $107,375 for owner Chris Alcock.

Pembrook Playboy winning at Addington

Ragazzo Mach

  • Won seven of his thirteen starts and earned $79,262.
  • Major win was the Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes in a race, track and Southland record time of 3-17.8 for the 2700 metre mobile.
  • Ran a track and Southland record when winning at Winton.
  • Finished his season finishing fourth in the Group One Three Year Old Emerald at Cambridge.

Ragazzo Mach winning the Southern Supremacy Stakes

Vintage Cheddar

  • Won three of his seventeen starts.
  • Wins include the Group Three Junior Free For All at Addington on Cup Da. He backed that up on Show Day, winning again over 1980 metres.
  • His other win was in the Winton Businesses Cup when he beat U May Cullect and Pembrook Playboy.

Vintage Cheddar after his win at Winton

Watch Me Now

  • Won the Group One New Zealand Breeders Stakes, beating Amazing Dream. The time of 3-07.2 was a New Zealand Mares record for 2600 metre mobile.
  • Ran third in the Group Two Premier Mares Championship behind Amazing Dream and Need You Know and third in the Group Three Central Otago Cup.
  • Also won the South of the Waitaki at Addington during Cup Week.
  • Watch Me Now won four races in the season under review before heading to America.

Watch Me Now  beating Amazing Dream in  New Zealand Record time

Watch Me Now – winning owners

2020-2021 provincial winners:

  • Leading trainer: Nathan Williamson (47 winners and $487,716 – the highest number of wins in one season by any Southland trainer ever and the most  stakes won in a season).
  • Leading driver: Nathan Williamson (80 winners and $804,336 – the most money ever won by any Southland based driver in one season).
  • Leading junior driver: Ellie Barron (15 winners and $189,974 – her third year in a row).
  • Leading Southland pacer: Pembrook Playboy (7 wins and $107,375).
  • Leading Southland mare: Watch Me Now (4 wins and $101,185).
  • Leading Southland trotter: Dark Horse (5 wins and $54,075).

Dark Horse – Southland’s leading trotting stakes earner

  • Leading Southland three year old pacer: Ragazzo Mach (7 wins and $79,262).
  • Leading Southland two year old pacer: You’re So Fine (1 wins and $33,750).

2020-2021 – Notable PBs:

  • Nathan Williamson (47 training wins).
  • Alister Black (19 training wins).
  • Craig Ferguson (15 training wins).
  • Lyndon Bond (11 training wins).
  • Tristan Larsen (10 driving wins).
  • Chelsea Faithful (7 training wins).

2020-2021 Track Records:

  • Ragazzo Mach – Winton 2400 metre stand – 3 year old colts and geldings 2-59.0 (Track and Southland record).

Ragazzo Mach breaking the record at Winton

  • Dark Horse – Winton 1609 Metre Mobile – Four Year Old and Older Mares – 1-57.4 (Track and Southland record).
  • You’re So Fine – Invercargill 2200 Metre Mobile – Two Year Old Colts and Geldings – 2-39.6 (Track, Southland and New Zealand record).

You’re So Fine crossing the line in a race, track, Southland and New Zealand record time.

  • Ragazzo Mach – Invercargill 2700 Metre Mobile – Three Year Old Colts and Geldings – 3-17.8 (Track and Southland record).
  • Stylish Memphis – Invercargill 2700 Metre Stand – Four Year Old and Older Mares and All Comers – 3-16.3 (Track and Southland record).
  • U May Cullect – Invercargill 2700 Metre Stand – Four Year Old and Older Entires and Geldings and All Comers – 3-17.7 (Track and Southland record).

U May Cullect – another record breaking win at Ascot Park

  • Pembrook Playboy – Invercargill 2700 Metre Stand – Four Year Old and Older Entires and Geldings and All Comers – 3-17.7 (Track and Southland record).
  • Ultimate Stride – Invercargill 2700 Metre Stand – Four Year Old and Older Entires and Geldings – 3-25.6 (Track and Southland record).

Ultimate Stride – heading back to the stables after breaking the record at Invercargill

On the breeding front Katrina and John Price sold the two top lots at the National Yearling Sales in Christchurch with Mandinka selling for $320,000 and Chicago Bear for $310,000.

Mandinka (front) and Chicago Bear resting up at Winton during the SBSR Tour.

Closing in on milestones:

  • Brent Barclay – 800 driving wins (797)
  • Tony Stratford – 200 training wins (190)
  • Craig Ferguson – 200 driving wins (196)
  • Craig Laurenson – 100 training wins (94)
  • Nathan Williamson – 300 training wins (296)
  • Matty Williamson – 1000 driving wins (975)
  • Peter Hunter – 100 training wins (97)

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