The big-hearted Amelie provided harness racing trainer Nick Le Lievre with his first official training success at the Rangiora Harness Racing Club's meeting on Sunday. The daughter of Julius Caesar showed plenty of tenacity at the finish of race two getting home by a neck from the Robert Dunn trained pair of Redheaded Wildflower and Cullen's Creek.
Plagued with injury right throughout her career Amelie is all heart according to her trainer. "She's no champion but she's very courageous. She's always suffered from chronic unsoundness and to perform the way she does is testament to the sort of heart she possesses."
Bred by Nick Le Lievre's late father Stuart, Amelie was a problem child right from the early days. "We always liked her but her list of problems are far to many to mention. We had her pretty much sold but she broke a bone in her knee. She was operated on and when she came back I still wasn't that happy with her and she ended up developing a low bow, so we tipped her again. It's been such a slow process getting her to where she is now, because everytime we got her up to speed something else would go wrong, it's been a bloody long haul," Le Lievre said.
Sunday's win by Amelie was well overdue and just reward for the hard working brother to Trackside Presenter Justin Le Lievre. The part-time horseman begins his day in the early hours of the morning delivering the press in the Weedons area. "I start at 3am and because I live in the Weedons area I duck home and have some breakfast, sometimes grab a quick sleep, then it's off to John McDermott's to train the horses. I stable my horses there and help John in the mornings with his. It's a nice setup and just a great environment."
Although Amelie is the only racehorse Nick Le Lievre has going around right now, he does have a couple of back-ups in the pipeline. "I've got a couple of two year olds that Im working up. Three in work is probably enough for me, by the time I do press run help John and work my horses, it can be a long week."
Top Sire:2 wins.
Top Junior Driver: Dexter Dunn 2 wins.
Top Driver: Dexter Dunn and John Dunn 2 wins each.
Top Trainer: 10 different trainers from 10 races.
Results from the Rangiora Harness Racing Club's meeting held in Rangiora yesterday (Sunday) were:
Race 1: The Lew Driver trained DOC'S DELIGHT () Ivan Schwamm.
Race 2: The Nick Le Lievre trained AMELIE () Craig Thornley.
Race 3: The Nigel McGrath trained and driven DANCE BAND ().
Race 4: The Neil Hamilton trained SANJAYA (Knight Rainbow) Colin De Filippi.
Race 5: The Gavin Smith trained and driven ONWARD CHRISTIAN ().
Race 6: The Steve O'Brien trained LETS TALK ART () Dexter Dunn.
Race 7: The Robert Dunn trained RIDER ON THE STORM () John Dunn.
Race 8: The Cran Dalgety trained EMPYREAN (Cristian Cullen) Dexter Dunn.
Race 9: The Kevin Fairbairn trained LEXIE HIGHLANDER () John Dunn.
Race 10: The Shane Walkinshaw trained BELLE VISTA () Robbie Close.