Day At The Track

Brad Mowbray king of the Cups

08:43 AM 07 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Tiger Thompson.Harness racing
Tiger Thompson and Matthew Willamson
Photo Bruce Stewart

Hornby trainer Brad Mowbray was 'King Of Cups' for the Central Otago race meetings, winning all three cups on the circuit which wrapped up today(Sunday) at the Wyndham HRC meeting at Cromwell.

Never before has a trainer won all three cups; Central Otago, Roxburgh and Cromwell in one year. A remarkable feat spread over just five days. 

The winning spree began at Omakau on Tuesday when Tiger Thompson won the Group Three Central Otago Cup.

He's a quality son of Big Jim and from a limited career he's now won five of his eighteen starts. Last season as a three year old he was just below the best in his age group, but had some wayward tendencies and Mowbray says he was always going to get better with age.

"He starting to string a few together. We think he's maturing but I'm not going to nail my colours to the mast. All these trips away to Wyndham and Central Otago are really going to help him." 

There has been some talk about taking Tiger Thompson to Auckland to tackle some of the big four year old races but Mowbray hasn't got any set plans.

"I haven't decided with him. I think we might be able to do enough round here (South Island) and then worry about things when we get a bit older. He needs a little bit of nurturing as much as he needs toughening up. He's a pretty headstrong horse. You need the right people to handle him and you can't send the kid out to put him in the paddock. He's in charge. He starts misbehaving a bit more when he gets to the races. He's like a little kid at Christmas."

The second Cup in the prize cabinet was the Roxburgh Cup won on Thursday by quality four year old mare Delishka. She showed her toughness when under a hard drive by Matty Williamson she held out a spirited challenge to beat Royal Bengal by a head. It was the mare's first race from a standing start.  

"She's probably a bit underrated. It didn't surprise me that she won. I was really pleased she stepped because it was her first ever try."

Although there's some very good mares races like the Group Two Mares Championship and the Group One New Zealand Breeders Stakes coming up at Addington in February, Mowbray says he's looking to head across to Australia to race for some big money. 

"I think we're going to send her to Aussie. There's some pretty big mares races over there. Over a month there's about $400,000 in stakes she can run for just against the mares. Mel (Brad's wife) will go over with her. The Jewels is our main aim once she gets back."

Seven year old gelding Four Starzzz Shiraz completed the three cup wins when at odds of 57-1 he won the Cromwell Cup on the Cromwell grass track today. 

"He's an older horse who's done a few miles and he was always going to be a bit happier on something a bit softer. We just brought him down because we were bringing all the others but we thought he'd be half a show. I thought he'd go a good race today because he wasn't far away from a handy field on Tuesday (Central Otago Cup) and with the class difference I thought he won't be too far away."

The Four Starzzz Shark gelding was well handled by first season junior driver Charlotte Purvis. It was her third career win and first driving a pacer.

"She drove him one night at Addington for us and got on really well so we thought we'd give her another go."

Mowbray shares in the ownership with Christine Maynard, wife of amateur driver Mike Maynard. 

"We'll just potter way and might have another start in the Country Cups so we can get into the final. I didn't have any money on him and Mike only had five a place."

Four Starzzz Shiraz was bought by Mowbray and Maynard primarily as a horse to race in amateur driver races. He's been with the stable since July last year but had only had four starts for the stable prior to today's win. It was the gelding's ninth win in a sixty five start career.

Over the space of five days the three pacers banked the stable $33,000.  

"It'll be good if it was the Coast. We'd be getting a bit more," Mowbray said when reminded that the three race meeting circuit in Central didn't carry any bonuses unlike the one run on the West Coast.                         

Maybe this is something the Clubs could look at for next year. In the meantime Mowbray's pretty happy with his haul. 


Bruce Stewart
Southland Harness Racing

Tiger Thompson winning the Central Otago Cup

 

Deliska winning the Roxburgh Cup 

 

Four Starzzz Shiraz winning the Cromwell Cup

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