Day At The Track

Behind every leader there's a...decent horse?

09:14 AM 21 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Leaders on and off the track

As one Donald Trump leaves office another strolls onto the track in search of leaving his own legacy.  

Here we look at the Kiwi bred and raced horses that turned to some political power to give them the deciding edge on the track.. with mixed results. It’s a list of power grabs, imprisonments, and Group racing wins all rolled into one!     

Donald Trump

In Power

45th President of The USA, rose to prominence through his business career / dealings and reality TV. Elected the Republican Party candidate for the presidency in 2016 achieving victory over Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton to claim office in 2017. Impeached while in office. Succeeded by Joe Biden.

On the track

Foaled in 2017. By Bacardi Lindy out of Rugged Cross. Family of Jo Anne, Dependable and the terrific trotting star in Ima Gold Digger. Currently under the guidance of Nathan Williamson. Strong trial form leading into race day debut at Invercargill recently. Has had 1 start, unplaced currently. $200 in career earnings.     



In power

Born 1870. Exiled 1897 for sedition. Bolshevik / Russian Communist Party leader. Introduced New Economic Policy “state capitalism”. Died early 1924. His body remains on display on Red Square in Lenin’s Mausoleum.     

On the track.

Foaled 1985. By Noodlum out of Laser Lass. Brother to the Northern Derby winning Laser Lad who would later race in North America. Experienced great success in a racing career that spanned seven seasons. Maiden victory came at Ashburton when trained and driven by Robert Dunn. Australian victories included the VL Dallard Cup, E.B Cochran Cup and Freestone Trotters Cup . Placed third in the Inter-Dominion Trotting final of 1993 behind Night Allowance and David Moss when driven by Lance Justice. Last raced 1996. $280’000 in career earnings.   



In power

Born 12AD. Declared Roman Emperor after the reign of Tiberius 37AD. Fell out with the Senate due to erratic behaviour and extravagant spending . Claimed to have appointed his own horse, Incitatus, to the priesthood. Assassinated at 28 years of age and replaced by his uncle Claudius.

On The Track

There are a number to choose from! The most notable being a son of Majestic Son and Una Bromac (making him a full brother to Winterfell) Foaled 2015. Exported to Australia without a NZ based start. Group 3 Trotters Foundation Series winner. Most recent win coming at Menangle in May beating fellow Kiwi Gold Sovereign by a head margin. $87’000 in career earnings currently.     



In power

Both Theodore (Teddy) and Franklin D Roosevelt held the office of President of the United States Of America. Franklin, (a sufferer of what was, at the time, thought to be polio which limited the use of his legs) held office as the 32nd President of the United States for some 12 years and played a major role as war time leader during World War 2. Attended the famous Yalta Conference alongside Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in Crimea. Died from a brain hemorrhage April 1945.    

On the track

Foaled in 1989. Trained by Barry Smith and the second foal out of a Vance Hanover mare in Kennedy Road. Roosevelt won 6 and placed on 12 other occasions from 72 race day appearances including consecutive wins in June of 1995 before being exported to Australia.Success in that country proved harder to come by with a first-up win at Gloucester Park over ex-Kiwi Pauanui Estate a highlight. Last raced in 1999. $50’000 in career earnings.



In power

Sir Robert Muldoon. Born 1921. Accountant by trade. National Party leader and 31st Prime Minister of New Zealand upon election in 1975. Refused to stop the Springbok Rugby tour 1981 that divided the nation and led to large scale civil unrest. Lost power to David Lange 1984.   

On the track

Again three to choose from. The most successful being foaled in 1995 by Miles McCool out of Nellie Doon (Bred by Colin Baynes) who also left Hereshoping (23k earnings) the 4 win horse Nellie’s Boy and Rockem, who went on to race in America and ran a 1.52.2 best . Managed a solitary NZ win beating out Sabatini Star by a whisker in March of 2000 when driven by Robin Swain before a North American career resulted in a 1.53.6 best time. $8’000 in career earnings while in New Zealand.  



In power

Born 1890. Dwight D Eisenhower rose to become the 34th President of the United States after a distinguished military career. Supreme commander of Allied Expeditionary Force World War 2. Played a critical role in the liberation of Europe and D-Day. Died of heart failure 1969.  

On the track

Foaled 2005. One of the more successful equine “leaders”. Sired by Presidential Ball out of Paula Michele. Family of Aristocratic (9 NZ wins) The Patriot (9 NZ wins) and Class Act (dam of Classical)  Steven Reid trained initially. Won 7 from 18 on NZ shores including a third to Highview Tommy in the Waikato Guineas and a close 2nd to Antares in the Morrinsville Juvenile Stakes of 2008. Exported to Australia, renamed General Eisenhower and ran 5th in the Marathon Handicap (Listed Classic) behind Galactic Star. Last raced 2011. 100k in career earnings.



In power

Born 518 BC. Son of Darius the Great. King of Persia. Led failed invasion of Greece in 480BC - think Thermopylae and the “300”. Defeated at Plataea and the decisive naval battle of Salamis. Assassinated 465BC.

On the track

Foaled 2004. By Christian Cullen out of Amazing Laugh. 1/2 sister to the 27 win Australian based Western Pacific. Raced for Sean McCaffrey. HER racing career never threatened empire building proportions. A single placing from her 5 race day starts coming on debut at Cambridge behind the Todd Mitchell trained Fresco Denario. $1’650 in career earnings.  


Marie Antoinette

In power.

Born 1755. Queen of France and wife to Louis 16th. Fell out of favour for lavish spending and rumored affairs. Put on trial and convicted of high treason during French Revolution. Executed by guillotine 1793.

On the track

Foaled 1980. By Beau Monantais out of Live Twice. (close relation to the capable trotter Mark Andrew) While no racing record exists Marie did prove a capable broodmare leaving the 5 race winner in Louis Auguste who was trained by Graham Shearman and Full Time who won 3 while on New Zealand soil before a fairly successful racing career in Australia including 7 additional victories. Wider bloodlines also include the successful Stephen Doody trained Call Now (7 wins) and, if we go all the way back to 1970, the dam of the great Call Me Now in Now.


Jimmy Carter

In power

Born 1925. Headed the family peanut business for a time after leaving the United States Navy.Championed civil rights. Defeated Republican Gerald Ford for the presidency and assumed office as the 39th President of the United States in 1977. Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

On the track

Foaled 2014. Relation to Donald Trump as mentioned above. A current member of the Phil Williamson barn Jimmy Carter has proven successful on the track with 5 wins and 11 additional placings to his name from 35 career starts. Out of the strong performer and producer Jo Anne who has left the likes of Doctor Mickey (3 Australian wins + 5 NZ wins including a runner-up finish in the 3yr Ruby at the Harness Jewels) and the Steven McRae trained Indiana Jones (6 NZ wins) Jimmy Carter has $45’000 in career earnings so far.



In power

Born 1918. Lawyer by profession. Arrested 1962 for conspiring to overthrow the state and sentenced to life imprisonment. Released after serving a sentence of 27 years in prison. 1st President of South Africa. Held office between 1994 and 1999. Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

On the track

Foaled 1984 by Ela Patron out of Shine Away (who left the 8 time winner Just A Glow among others) . Initially trained by Brian Court. 4 NZ based starts for no placings. Exported and enjoyed some modest success in Australia racing as The Mandela. Last raced 1993. Career earnings $8’000


Catherine The Great

In power

Born 1729. Empress of all Russia and longest ruling female leader in Russian history. Her era becoming known as a “Golden Age” . Had a love of horses while being known for having numerous male suitors. Oversaw cultural liberation and expansion. Died from a stroke 1796. 


On the track 

Foaled 1987. By Royal Prestige out of Kathy Ann Hanover. Proved a success both on the track and as a broodmare. Raced by Geoff Small with 5 win and 10 placings from just 22 lifetime starts. Placed second in the PGG Rosso Antico Stakes at Group 2 level behind Chiola’s Lass when driven by James Stormont. $40’000 career earnings. As a broodmare left known performers Last Sunset ($220k winner including Group 1 Trotting Free-For-All) Real Deal Yankee ( 11 wins, $175’000 in NZ) and Great Getaway (10 wins from 47 starts) while another daughter , Galleons Dream, is the dam of the Inter-Dominion Trotting Champion of 2008 and Bill Collins Mile winner Galleons Sunset.


How about the rest. What’s the best power player you can think of in New Zealand harness racing?

Who needs to be mentioned?    


Ben McMillan              

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