Day At The Track

Billy bags the win

11:10 AM 13 Jun 2017 NZST
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Billy Badger
HRNZ photo

Away from the hustle and bustle of the high quality three-year-old age group racing, Billy Badger was always going to be a promising prospect.

So when Robert and John Dunn elected to include the talented pacer in their contingent of horses bound for Nelson last week, you knew immediately that they meant business.

And when the diminutive pacer backed up some serious support from punters on Friday to break through for a much deserved win there was a sense of mission accomplished.

Few probably thought too far ahead than Friday, but the Nelson Winter Cup was still up for the taking and Billy Badger, on Sunday, took the bull by the horns and claimed the winter feature with John Dunn in the bike.

Owned by Ross and Angela Gordon, Billy Badger downed some high quality opposition in the Winter Cup, including fellow three-year-old, Mongolian Hero.

It was a fitting result for the Gordon duo who have endured a tough season with the loss of the highly talented, Say My Name.

Billy Badger, an Art Major colt from Lady Antebellum, has now won six of his 29 career starts and picked up more than $70,000 of stake money along the way.

Later in the day on Sunday, the Craig and Aimee Edmonds trained, Rishi, also finished the weekend as a dual winner.

A three-year-old by Bettor’s Delight from Reklaw, Rishi was having just his second and third race day starts, but looked ever the consummate professional as he dealt to his rivals on both occasions.

The win tripled the season tally for the father and daughter Edmonds combination, who incidentally also picked up their other winner for the season at Nelson when Muscles Galore was victorious earlier this year.

Cameron Jones picked up his first New Zealand win as a driver on Sunday when he partnered the Leonne Jones trained, Mr Fahrenheit to success in the maiden trot.

The Pegasus Spur gelding, who is a member of the family of the great Tussle, took more starts than most expected to break the maiden status, but never really looked in doubt on Sunday.

Driven confidently by Jones, who has won a hoard of races in Australia, the three-year-old wore down his rivals to claim the victory.

While it was a relatively short time for him, Mark Gill’s wait with Shadowman has been considerably longer. But the son of Sutter Hanover put it all behind him on Sunday when he burst through the middle of runners to win for Craig Thornley at start 48 in his career.

Matt Markham

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