Day At The Track

From bad to great

09:00 PM 03 Jun 2017 NZST
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Ricky May

Things were only ever going to get better for Ricky May yesterday at the Harness Jewels.

The champion horseman had, what could best be described as, a bizarre start to the day after he was struck by a car when making his way onto the course. The Mid Canterbury local was knocked to the ground in the incident, but thankfully only suffered a tender wrist in the incident.

After being checked by St John’s staff attending the meeting, May was cleared to fulfil his driving engagements for the day.

“I was looking in the other direction and the car reversed back and hit me,” May said.

“It wasn’t probably as bad as it sounds, but I guess you could say I was a bit lucky.”

May shook off the jitters to produce a beautifully patient drive on hot-favourite, Enghien in the three-year-old Ruby and the outstanding gelding called on every inch of his brilliance to get past a game President Roydon.

While the win might not have looked all that comfortable, for May it was really never in doubt.

“I always felt like he was going to win the race, it was just a case of getting him past the line,” May said.

“He is never going to be completely comfortable, but he trots through it.

“There’s a fair motor there.”

The win could see Enghien elevated to a position where he could potentially be in line for a Trotter of the Year Award at August’s Harness Racing Awards.

That would make for back-to-back victories for Greg and Nina Hope with sons of Love You after they took the Award home last year with Monbet.

Enghien’s victory was followed closely by the performance of Jewels day from the enigmatic Heaven Rocks.

The monstrous pacer was simply stunning in his victory in the Four-Year-Old Emerald and drew his driver, and co-trainer, Natalie Rasmussen into making some pretty astounding comparisons.

“He’s just so fast, like the only horse I’ve driven who is as fast as him is Black’s A Fake,” Rasmussen said.

“When I asked him to run at the top of the straight, he just took off.”

With only one Jewels win next to her name prior to yesterday, Rasmussen extended that tally to three with a victory on Spanish Armada also falling her way.

Matt Markham


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