The old saying ‘there are no certainties in racing’ has never sounded more true after today’s meeting at Ashburton , where superstar pacers Christen Me ($1.50) and Adore Me ($1.40) both failed to finish in three.
The former made an uncharacteristic gallop around the first bend, losing all chance.
His trainer Cran Dalgety could offer know no tangible reason for the gallop other than ‘he may have been too well for his own good’. He later referred to it as a mental meltdown. He advised the stipes that he would notify them if anything came to light in upcoming days.
Then, just races later, the unthinkable happened when his relative and ‘owner mate’ (if there is such thing) Adore Me was also knocked off her perch.
The freakish filly missed away in what was her first raceday attempt at a standing start, which was not at all helped by the one draw. She lost considerable ground and never got warm in what was a very quickly run affair.
Co-trainer Mark Purdon said on his All Stars Website that he is still likely to line her up in the Junior Free-For-All and, on her previous trackwork, he expects her to be very hard to beat.
As for Christen Me, he will now attempt to regain his New Zealand Cup composure in the Cup trial.
*Attached are the videos to both races
By Mitchell Robertson
THE TRUST ASHBURTON FLYING STAKES FFA PACE (Group 2)
The start was delayed one minute at the request of the TAB.
SUAVE STUEY LOMBO and CHRISTEN ME broke at the start with both runners losing ground.
After about 50 metres M Purdon as the driver of FLY LIKE AN EAGLE lost the use of his off side rein. On the first turn Mr Purdon shifted FLY LIKE AN EAGLE to the inside of the track markers where he remained until the final bend at which point he was restrained with the assistance of the Clerk Of The Course.
At about the 2000 metres CHRISTEN ME broke and lost its chance. When questioned regarding this driver D Dunn could offer no explanation. CHRISTEN ME was sent to be examined by the on course Veterinarian with no abnormalities detected. Trainer C Dalgety undertook to advise Stewards of anything which may come to light in the coming days that could explain the performance.
FLY LIKE AN EAGLE was cleared from the unruly for future standing start events.
Stewards issued Junior Horsewoman L Panella with a charge under Rule 869(2)(a) alleging she used her whip in a manner Stewards deemed excessive. After viewing the films, Miss Panella who was assisted by Senior Horseman M Jones, admitted the breach and the JCA imposed a fine of $250.
Co-trainer M Purdon admitted a breach of Rule 864(2)(d) in that the rein on FLY LIKE AN EAGLE had not been affixed correctly so as not to come adrift and the JCA imposed a fine of $250.
MID CANTERBURY TROTTING OWNERS HANDICAP PACE
At the start ADORE ME, JACKAROO BROMAC, KIWI IDEAL, BEACH BUNNY and ARDGHAL broke with KIWI IDEAL, BEACH BUNNY and ADORE ME all losing considerable ground. A warning was placed on the barrier record of KIWI IDEAL. Co-trainer S McMullan advised Stewards the gelding will be restricted to mobile starts in the near future.
Racing past the 1800 metres GIVETHEJOBTOBARNSY broke.
ARDGHAL raced keenly in the middle stages.
GLENCOE V C was inclined to lay inwards throughout the final straight with PHANTOM GRIN briefly forced to race in restricted room.
CAM BEFORE THE STORM weakened on the final turn after trailing throughout. When questioned with regard to the run of this horse driver A Butt could offer no explanation other than to say he was disappointed with the entire’s efforts.
A post-race veterinary examination of CAM BEFORE THE STORM revealed an elevated heart and respiratory rate and that the horse was in a distressed state. The connections advised they would have blood tests taken in the coming days and undertook to advise Stewards the results. CAM BEFORE THE STORM is now stood down until a veterinary clearance can be provided.