V Is For Victory
Keith Moore was painting a roof when Miss V C, a mare he both races on lease and trains, won the $12,000 Southland Harness Awards Ladyship Final at Ascot Park on Saturday.
The excitement of winning could have been enough to create a hazard but the Winton painter and decorator had taken the risk of a fall out the equation.
“The people whose place it was called me just before the race and I got down and watched it,” Moore said, “it was very good, I thought she might have won one sooner than this.”
He had trusted care of the race favourite to son Terry, a former junior driver, who helps his father prepare the daughter of Washington V C.
“We both drive her in work,” said Terry, “we’ve got four on the go, it was overdue.”
Miss V C’s win was the first for Moore since Chief Thundercloud at Ascot Park in April 2014 and his 17th in total. Chief Thunderbird, Gillie’s Gate and Bret’s Bunny each contributed three.
The race was the sixth Ladyship final for the season, catering for fillies and mares that had contested an event for non-winners since the previous final a fortnight earlier. The first two home in each heat are eligible for a $20,000 super final back at Ascot Park next Saturday and Moore will do his best to have Miss V C there.
“You don’t get too many opportunities to race for that sort of money,” he said
Bred by Peter and Rolly Drummond of Winton, Miss V C has been leased from them for three years.
Fellow Winton trainer Des Baynes backed up with a second win in consecutive weeks when Raffy Roo took the Southland Car & Commercial Painters Pace, following Slate’s win on his home track. It was the six-year-old’s third win and second in his past three starts.
“He’s come right,” said Baynes, pointing out that a number of niggles in the past, which required veterinary attention, appear to be behind him now.
A gelding by Elsu, Raffy Roo is out of Holmezy who contested the opening race of the inaugural Jewels held in Ashburton in 2007. Trained by Hamish Hunter she ran sixth to GTH Aveross.
Homezy’s third foal is Alfie Romeo who won two from eight for Baynes. Sold to Australia and known now as Our Alfie Romeo, the Washington V C gelding has won 10 from 14 including the Group Three Lewis Fillies and Mares Final at Gloucester Park last month. His latest start was in a group three at Pinjarra last Monday and yielded a second placing.
Eastern Southland owners Terry and Dawn McPherson enjoyed their first taste of winning when four-year-old Love The Blues took out the Magnum Automotive Group Pace in the hands of trainer Robin Swain.
“I’d always been interested in racing but couldn’t afford a horse until I sold my farm, to Kenny Baynes,” Terry McPherson said, “I’m semi-retired now, only got 15 acres but still help out on a dairy farm.”
Their first venture was Pretty Pins, a half-sister to the big winner Carabella. The filly failed to make it to the races but has left a yearling colt by Captaintreacherous. At a later sale, the McPhersons acquired Bronte Lindenny but the mare has failed to place in 11 outings. At the same sale, they also bought Love The Blues by Auckland Reactor.
“Love The Blues had a couple of starts as a three-year-old had trouble holding his condition,” McPherson revealed.
Visiting Cantabrian but former local Jonny Cox had to wait until the second half of the day’s programme before his first drive. Success wasn’t immediate and it took until the last of the day before it finally arrived. The Doorman, trained and driven by Cox, led all the way and dominated the All Purpose Engineering & Southland Batteries Pace.