Day At The Track

All things Westport

10:01 AM 19 Dec 2016 NZDT
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One of Westport's beautiful beaches
One of Westport's beautiful beaches

The local harness racing scene in Westport is supported by a number of local enthusiasts enjoying success on the racetrack and also in the breeding industry.

 

A Westport Breed

A long established Westport breed continue to make their mark on the New Zealand Standardbred scene.

Already this season Ranfurly Rulz and Lis Rulz have won a race each with both these horses out of Victoria Rulz. Victoria Rulz is a daughter of Rule Zona and traces back on her maternal side through May Rule, Ima Rule to Golden Rule who was the foundation mare for the Reedy dynasty. Golden Rule herself was out of Envy who was out of Marie Scott who was a U Scott-Whispering Grass mare bred by the late Bill Craddock.

Both Ranfurly Rulz and Lis Rulz are trained by Greg and Nina Hope at Woodend but both are partly owned and raced by local connections.

For Ranfurly Rulz a group of Carters Beach residents share in the racing under the Ranfurly Inn Syndicate banner while Lis Rulz includes in her ownership  the Double YouTeeCee Syndicate  representing a group mainly made up of stewards of the Westport Trotting Club.

The two time West Coast Horse of the Year Jason Rulz (owned by Richard Dellaca, Jason Yang and Greg & Nina Hope) is by Rule Zona, a daughter of May Rule, out of Ima Rule out of Golden Rule who was a daughter of Envy. Envy was Marie Scott’s first foal. Golden Rule became the foundation mare for the Reedy family with her progeny winning races in New Zealand, Australia and America.

The next of this breed, due to race as a late two year old, is named Ben Hope Rulz. His breeding? Courage Under Fire by Victoria Rulz out of Rule Zona out of May Rule out of Ima Rule out of Golden Rule out of Envy out of Marie Scott. He is a three quarter brother to Jason Rulz. He is to be raced by Greg and Nina Hope, Richard Dellaca and the DoubleYou Tee Cee Syndicate.

Incidentally Rule Zona was good enough to run second in the 1996 Westport Cup which was won by Happy Asset who went on to win the 1999 Auckland Cup.

Ranfurly Rulz has won six races with Lis Rulz successful twice. Both horses are likely to race on Boxing Day at Westport. Lis Rulz is a possible  candidate for the 3200m Westport Cup and would be a popular winner if she could return at the head of the field. Racecourse patrons will need to be prepared for the roar from the Stewards Stand if Liz hits the front and carries off this most coveted of trophies.

 Champion Two Year Old

Enghien is well known in Europe as a racecourse just outside of Paris but in New Zealand harness racing circles Enghien is the name of a promising three year old trotter raced by Richard Dellaca and Greg Hope and trained at Woodend Beach by Greg and Nina Hope. Enghien is by the French stallion Love You (Coktail Jet-Guilty of Love) from Another Starlet (Sundon-Lilly the Pink.) Love You has left 55 winners in New Zealand including the Champion Monbet. Enghien won four races last season and was crowned New Zealand 2 year old Trotter of the Year at the New Zealand Harness Racing Awards. He returned to the race track on December 8th winning a mobile 1950m trot at Addington. His three year old career will be worth watching as he is in form and likely to be kept to age group racing.

Other Horses To Watch

Richard Dellaca and Jason Yang have an interest in a Love you –Doli gelding named My Amour. This trotter is showing plenty of promise and has already won this season and looks to have a bright future.Lolita Franco (  Lis Mara-Liadian Franco) was placed last season and is trained at Patterson Park by Rodney Dickson. She is raced by Phil, Jill and Noel Beveridge and her return to the race track is awaited with interest. 

Local identities Johnny Reedy Junior and Dean Phibbs  have an interest in JJs Delight (Bettors Delight-Nessey Bromac) that is trained at Cust by Craig Kennedy. JJs Delight ran a fourth at Westport last year and then was second at Reefton.

Bob Higgins has made a welcome return to Patterson Park and has already had a win this season with RocknRoll Nevin (RocknRoll  Heaven-Mary Nevin.) She is raced by the Patsy Marie Syndicate. RocknRoll Niven traces back through the female line to Patsy McReedy (3 wins) and Patsy Marie (3 wins.)

Tim Jellyman has two horses in work, Miranda Cullen (Gotta Go Cullen-La Rouge) and Little Miss (Now Another Look-Enthuse) with both due to resume racing on Boxing Day.

The Reedy stable has four pacers in work, Tom Rule (Four Starzzz Shark-West Texas Rule), the well-bred You Bettor Rule (Bettors Delight-Deb’s Rule), Olde Oak Ellie (Magic Rule- Exceptional Rule) and Old Oake Emma (Bettors Delight-Exceptional Star.)

Paul Reedy is working a 6 yr old gelding by Charles Bronson out of Rosey's Rule named The Outlaw's Rule.

Trevor Walsh is working an American Ideal–TK Swift 2year old filly for Graeme and Katrina Walsh that is showing promise and could well be racing after Christmas.

The Breeding Scene

There is a horse running around on Western Australia called Major Reality (Art Major-Reality Check) that has had 27 starts for 16 wins and 9 placings. Among her wins has been the Western Australian Oaks. Her stake earnings to date are in excess of $300k. She was foaled on Abattoir Road on the property of Graeme and Katrina Walsh and sold through the yearling Sales. A half-brother by Bettor’s Delight out of Reality Check was purchased for the Purdon/Rasmussen stable and has had 11 starts for 5 wins including the big three year old race at Addington on Cup Day. His name is Ultimate Machete and he is currently the number one ranked three year old in this country. He is also the current fixed odds favourite for the New Zealand Derby and the Victorian Derby.

Reality Check has only had two foals to the races and both are Group one winners. Reality Check foaled a full brother to Major Reality last week.

It is interesting to note that the paddock in which these horses were born is the same paddock that the mighty Durban Chief grazed while being prepared for his assaults on the New Zealand Trotting scene on the late 1950s.

Two further foals, a 2 year old filly by American Ideal and a Bettors Delight yearling colt are being prepared for sale. Given the success of the family the yearling colt will be sought after at the Yearling sales.  Other yearlings the Walsh’s are preparing for the sales include one by Rock’n Roll Dance out of TK Swift and another by Art Major out of Time Flies.

Rodney Dickson also has three yearlings being prepared for the sales. They are a colt by A Rocknroll Dance out of Cantina, a filly by A Rocknroll Dance out of Mozart Lace, and a filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of Rejoicing.

West Coast Harness Horse of the Year

While the season is only a few months old the title of West Coast Horse of the Year for 2016/17 looks like being a seriously contested event. With some stables not even having  a horse to the races at this stage of the season,  Enghien, My Amour, Lis Rulz, Ranfurly Rulz and RocknRoll Nevin have recorded a win for local owners so the remainder of 2016/17 season looks an exciting one for all those involved in Harness Racing in the Buller.

 

By Dan Moloney

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