Harness racing reinsman Peter Davis dedicated his win on Little Bro at Blenheim on Sunday to Nip (Robert) Crooks, a man he described as being like a second father.
Crooks sadly passed away on Saturday morning after heath complications at the age of 70.
“He was certainly one of the biggest influences in the early part of my career and he put me on when not many others would,” said Davis.
Davis said that one of the better horses Nip Crooks trained during his career was a mare called Smoothover. She won seven races in total, with Davis in the cart in the majority of them.
“They used to have races at Addington on the 1st and 2nd of January and she won on both days in 1979,” recalled Davis. “They were two of my first ever wins at Addington,” he added.
Davis said that the whole Crooks family are lovely people and Nip was certainly no exception.
Another nice horse Crooks trained was five-win pacer Silent Assassin.
“He was out of a nice mare that I trained called Western Knight,” said Davis.
Davis wore a black arm bard in all of his eight drives at Waterlea raceway on Sunday and said his win on Little Bro meant a lot to him.
“He is a nice wee horse with good manners and he should improve next season as he is still a bit weak and is only three,” said Davis.
“We got him off Michael House and changed his name to ‘Little Bro’ as we had previous trained two of his older siblings in capable trotters, Buster Keaton (7 wins) and Zealous Lady (8 wins),” Davis concluded.
Davis and his partner Margo Nyhan also enjoyed success on the first day of the circuit with Lacroix Franco, who broke maidens after a string of placings.
Nip Crooks funeral will be at held at the Working Mens Club in Invercargill on Tuesday.
By Mitchell Robertson