Day At The Track

Amazing training feats

09:02 AM 06 Oct 2014 NZDT
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beau tindale.jpg daryl weightman.jpeg
Beau Tindale with Wallis King
Daryl Weightman and Heading North

It is hard enough for any harness racing competitor to win first-up from a spell.

While some stars – such as Guaranteed and Elegant Image – can accomplish the feat, victories after breaks are rare in any class or gait.

It’s even rarer to see a trainer produce a winner during its return from a two-year break.

So to have that exact feat achieved three times on the one card is unheard of.

Yet that’s what happened at Ballarat last Friday night, when two pacers and a trotter scored at their first outings since 2012!

Astute mentor Colin Redwood was the first to showcase his excellent horsemanship when Spiceman won at his initial start since October 30, 2012.

Driven by Ashley Matthews, Spiceman led throughout to account for Outofthefire and Ruby Victory in 2:01.1 for the 1710 metress

What made the triumph even more impressive is the fact the six-year-old only had two previous starts, where he finished at the tail of the field.

Wallis King then repeated the dose for trainer Beau Tindale at his first appearance since May 2012.

A high-priced two-year-old, Wallis King previous start was the Australian Pacing Gold Consolation at Albion Park.

Now five, the gelding set the pace from barrier five before beating Mister Eurasian and Wingofwaves.

Thrilled with the effort, Tindale believes Wallis King is capable of making up for lost time providing his troubled tendons don’t cause problems.

“He damaged his tendons in both front legs, with vets saying he would never race again,” Tindale said. “A lot of work, including stem cell treatment, has been put into getting him back to the races.

“I don’t get nervous with my horses before the race, but I was that nervous with him I almost couldn’t watch him go around.

“On class he was always going to be too good for that field, and if he can stay sound, he’ll get to metropolitan grade.

“He’s pulled up fine, so now we just press on.”

Heading North then rounded out the amazing occurrence for Daryl Weightman when he scored from Make A Fuss and All Honour, with Weightman’s son, Nathan, in the sulky.

Another which was sidelined with tendon problems, Heading North’s absence was also extended by two broken legs.

The snapped limbs, however, belonged to the Weightmans.

“He did his offside front tendon and was out for a while, then not long after I had him back in work, I busted my leg, so he went back into the paddock,” Daryl explained.

“Nathan decided to get his licence so he could work them up, but then he broke his leg as well, so the horse was put aside once more.

“During that time, he also got a bout of sand colic, which is when the stomach is filled with sand, which made him pretty crook.”

With no major plans in mind for the son of John Street North, Weightman will ease Heading North into harder targets.

“If he can keep going I reckon he can win an M0,” Weightman said. “Other than that, I’ve got nothing picked out for him.”

In an effort which would normally be the stand out performance of the night, Michelle Wight produced Myrniongfirecracker to win at his first start for 13 months.

Leading throughout from the pole, the son of Safe And Sound also broke a 22-month drought from the winners’ circle.

Keeping in with the evening’s trend, Abettorpunt and Roy George were successful at their returns from ‘traditional’ spells.

  • PAUL COURTS

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