A fine day in Mid Canterbury provided harness racing trainers with perfect conditions for this year's Ready To Run two year old trial day. The fastest time of the day was recorded by the Malcolm Shinn trained Courage Under Fire colt Marble Ridge, who produced a scintillating 800 in 54.9 and 400 in 25.8.
But it was the overall quality of the entries that drew most attention with 21 of the 71 entries running the 800 metres in better than 57 seconds. "The standard was extremely high this year," said PGG Wrightson Representative Rachel Deegan.
"Conditions were super but the quality of the entries was very pleasing. Buyer interest appears to be at an all time high and we've already received alot of requests for DVD's from as far a field as Perth. All the trials will be on the web next week and the DVD's will be out at the end of next week," Deegan said.
Time honours for fastest filly went to West Melton horseman Michael House with a classyfilly from 1.58.7 mare Countess Caroline (3 wins). Mrs Devine recorded sectionals of 55.2 and 26.6.
Ready to run specialist Greg Payne had another solid trial day with most of his draft meeting expectations.
"The majority were very much as expected. I've got a few this year that are extremely good, but I thought the overall quality of the horses was up on previous years," Payne said.
Today was the culmination of alot of hard work by vendors, and on a day that began well before 6am for Greg Payne, the West Melton horseman is just glad trial day is over.
"It's a real load off my mind to be honest, it can be very stressful leading into today in particular. It's not over yet but most of the hard work is done," he said.
Payne believes many buyers are now moving away from trialliing horses in preference for purchasing through video analysis and veterinary inspection.
The Greg Payne draft was spear-headed by sharp performances by Caesar's Bardon, a son ofand full brother to the well performed Julius Bardon (1.58.5) running the equal fastest last 400 of the day in 25.8, the overall 800 in 55.5. Payne's other star trialist was a colt named Stout.
The son ofmare Navigator Franco ran the 800 in 55.2 and 400 in 26.2.
Ready To Run Trial Times.