Day At The Track

A perfect record

09:17 AM 11 Feb 2017 NZDT
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Ross Houghton.jpg
Ross Houghton in the Robert Dunn colours
The Digital Birdcage

Owner and breeder Colin Hair can now boast a perfect record when it comes to racing two-year-old trotters. He’s one for one.

The Kaiapoi based enthusiast, who holds the position of finance chair on the board of Harness Racing New Zealand had never had a starter in a two-year-old trot, despite an association with trotters that spans back over many years.

“For one reason or another, I’ve never raced one,” Hair said.

“The family is traditionally one that gets better with age, so that might have something to do with it.

“But it’s nice to have finally ticked it off for sure.”

Hair’s first foray into the world of baby trotters came at Addington on Friday night when Sundees Son stepped out for the Robert Dunn stable with Ross Houghton in the sulky.

The son of Majestic Son overcame a skip, hop and jump in the score up to race his way to the lead early and never looked back.

“He races without a crupper,” Houghton said.

“And as we were going forward I noticed that the saddle had slipped right up onto his shoulders so he’s done well to keep trotting.

“It was a good performance, we just need to teach him to be a racehorse now.”

With a victory first up - worth over $4,000 - the pressure is now off for the gelding and Hair is quite excited by that prospect.

“We don’t have to chase for a Harness Jewels spot or anything now, we’ve got the money in the bank so we can just work on getting him sorted.

“I think after that performance tonight we can look at races like the Sires’ Stakes.”

The fifth foal of three win mare Stardon, Sundees Son has a bit of breeding behind that traces right back through a lot of Hair’s success as an owner and breeder. Stardon was a daughter of Chiquita Dee who left open class trotter, Uncas who is now plying his trade in Australia.

“He’s doing a good job over there, my intention is still to bring him back at some stage.”

With just the two broodmares at home, the breeding side of things is relatively quiet at the moment.

Sundees Son is the only racehorse currently too, although we will see Woodstone step up in the near future.

He’s a three-year-old son of The Pres who qualified last year in impressive fashion at the Cup Trials beating subsequent race winner, Gentleman Sir.

Prior to that he had produced three tidy seconds behind the very talented Arnold.

“He can certainly trot a bit, so I’m looking forward to having him back on the track.”

Sundee’s Son’s victory last night took Houghton to six winners for the season, his best tally since 2003 when he was a junior driver and picked up 11 wins.

The victory also kept the Dunn stable at the top of the trainers’ premiership, albeit now in a tie with the Greg and Nina Hope stable on 56 wins each after they picked up a double last night.

Matt Markham

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