Day At The Track

Bartlett's Coast fun continues

08:27 AM 15 Mar 2017 NZDT
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Terrier at Reefton
HRNZ photo

John Bartlett is considering starting a campaign to get harness racing to the West Coast more often and when you look at the Ashworth’s Beach trainer’s record you can understand why.

The relatively new trainer to the training ranks of Canterbury, in just his third season, picked up his first winning double on Sunday at Reefton when two new acquisitions to his stable, Terrier and King Size were successful.

It continued a great run for Bartlett on the Coast with five of his eight career wins coming on the western side of the Southern Alps.

“I’ve had a pretty good run over there, surely they could race there a bit more often,” Barlett said.

“It’s a place I can target horses for and we actually purchased Terrier because we thought he could win a race over there.”

From just a small racing team, the results of the North Canterbury trainer make for compelling reading.

He’s had 64 starters in his two and half seasons of training for eight wins and nine placings - often with horses who he has picked up off other trainers.

With three in work at the moment, he’s keeping busy enough - doing the majority of his training on the beach or around a paddock at his property beside the main road through to Amberley.

“Three is enough at the moment, and to get two wins with them in one day was great.

“The other horse, Got A Beauty, should pick one up at some point in the season you would think, he just needs the luck that the other two got on Sunday.”

Bartlett continued his association with Robbie Close at the weekend with the talented young horseman on both of his winners.

Close has driven six of Bartlett’s winners now with Katie Cox on board Young Mister Grace when he won at the same Reefton meeting last year and Dexter Dunn on Verdun when he gave Bartlett his first success as a trainer at Forbury in October of 2014.

“I like using the lightweight drivers, especially on the grass.

“Robbie is a good young driver and it was actually him who recommended we buy Terrier after he had driven him a couple of times.”

Bartlett admitted to not having had both horses long prior to heading to the Coast and said he took two horses, along with Got A Beauty, over the hills in pretty good fettle.

“I thought they all went well on the first day, King Size got a little wound up by a false start which didn’t help him.

“But they got the right luck that you need and both got the job done so it was a good result.”

There’s nine months until racing returns to the West Coast at Christmas, but you can bet your last dollar that Bartlett already had one eye on the meeting as he looks to continue his great record there.

“It’s a great place to go with a horse, they’re great people who really look after you when you are over there.

“We will be going back for sure.”

Matt Markham

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