The Hornet Has Plenty of Sting

The Hornet Has Plenty of Sting

Bruce Stewart

3rd December 2020

Smart qualifier The Hornet put his poor debut behind him and scored like a quality horse at the Riverton Trotting Club meeting at Ascot Park today.

The three year old trained by Tony Stratford at Gore is owned by Kevin and Jennifer Walsh, who bought The Hornet’s dam Sally Franco in foal to Gold Ace.

“He (The Hornet) was a lovely foal, very athletic. He’s a big fella and both Tony and I think his best season will be next year,” said Kevin Walsh.

The gelding was broken in by Doug McLachlan before he went to Stratford.

He qualified nicely in 3-02.3 at Central Southland Raceway in October before he debuted on the same track two weeks later. He was posted three wide in that start and weakened to run ninth.

“This is the first horse we’ve had with Tony. He’s got that touch. We also had New Zealand’s best driver (Blair Orange) on him today.”

The Walsh’s youngest son Chris holds a trainers license. His only winner was with Great Success mare Cum Laude. She’s the dam of Postgrad Success which won her first start for Kevin and Jennifer and Gore trainer Brian Norman.

They also raced Caprock gelding Captain Hugh. He was trained by Colin Devery and was placed twice as a two year old before being exported to Australia where he won twenty eight races.

Kevin and Jennifer also owned Mattuity gelding Young Marmion which won it’s only start for Ryal Bush trainer Murray Gray before also heading off across the Tasman.

The Walshs are also breeding from In The Pocket mare Maria Die Monti which has just foaled a colt by Downbytheseaside, and Roman Goddess, a young Mach Three mare that’s part of the Tact family.

But Kevin’s interest in horses goes further back than that.

“My grand uncle owned a horse called Matchem which won the South Island Jump at the show grounds in Invercargill in 1942, 1943 and 1944. I’ve always had a love of horses.”

Meanwhile Oamaru trainer Phil Williamson scored a trotting double when first starter Celebration Stride won on debut and talented mare Miss Crazed overcame a midrace break to get up and win her second race. The Crazed mare looks to have unlimited talent.

Celebration Stride winning for Matty Williamson – Photo Bruce Stewart

Miss Crazed and Kerryn Tomlinson – Photo Bruce Stewart

Junior reinsman Jamie Campbell won his eighth race when he partnered the Gordon and Colin Lee gelding Melton Mafia to win the Ryder Roofing –Aparima Mobile Pace.

Jamie Campbell and Melton Mafia – Photo Bruce Stewart

Dark Horse underlined her talent when she put the disappointment of breaking in the Dominion Handicap behind her today, winning her eleventh race and bringing her wins at Ascot Park to five.

She overcame a fifty metre handicap to win the Bill Keast Memorial Handicap by two lengths and was brought another success to the well-travelled Griffin Syndicate and the Seafield Trotting Syndicate.

The day was capped off when the locally owned Yorokobi won for Paul and Brendon Duffy. The Bettor’s Delight gelding was initially educated by Kirk Larsen before heading to Woodend Beach trainer Regan Todd.