Lionels Meddle is relishing his new Roxburgh home after being claimed by Geoff and Jude Knight from Robert Dunn for $10,000 at Forbury Park on August 15.
The son ofgelding displayed no sign of unsoundness in his first start for the Central Otago couple when winning the feature pace at Gore on Sunday (August 25) – the $8,500 A.W. & A.M. Osborne Contracting Gore Handicap for 2-6 win pacers.
It was the 8-year-old gelding’s 11th win from 65 starts. Last season he had just three starts for Dunn due to his dubious legs.
But the Knights are treating Lionels Meddle on a one-to-one basis and believe he can win more races thanks to an electric equine machine which sends pulses throughout his body.
“It’s similar to acupuncture. Electric currents are sent to through all his acupuncture points. It helps his circulation, bleeding and when he ties up. It’s great for older horses,” Knight (Geoff) explained.
“It’s a wonderful machine, especially for older horses like him,” Knight added.
He said when Lionels Meddle arrived at his property he was sound and in good condition.
“Robert and John did a great job with him because we knew he had issues. I think he likes it here. We have a swimming pool and we have straight line training on the grass, so the bends don’t worry him,” Knight said.
He termed his win on Sunday as ‘courageous’.
“Even though it was a small field not many pacers win over 2200m from 40 behind. He was headed and displayed an immense amount of courage to pick himself up and win. That’s the furtherest handicap we will start him from.
“At home he’s a through gentleman and on the track he’s the consummate professional. It was a really nice drive by Matthew (Williamson),” Knight said.
Lionels Meddle was last of the seven runners going out the straight the first time and then Williamson had him in front at the 1600m.
He led into the straight and then pulled out all stops to hold out the fast finishing Roxy Rocket (Shane Walkinshaw) by a nose. In The Kitty and Peter Hunter were half a length back in third.
Lionels Meddle, who was the second favourite, stopped the clock in 2:48.6 (mile rate: 2:03.3). Last 800m: 57 flat and last 400m: 28.2.
Knight said he didn’t want to look too far ahead with his new acquisition, but would probably line him up at Forbury Park this week.
“I want to line him up where he will be competitive. I’d like to race him in the C3-6 grade. I want to pick and choose and prolong his career as much as possible.
“He’s eight now and got wary legs. I think he will make a nice Country Cups horse,” Knight said.
Lionels Meddle’s biggest win came in a $20,000 event at Winton in April 2010. He started his career with a victory at Addington back in July 2008.
“He’s one of the best in our stable. Of course we have our stable star Pembrook’s Delight, who won the Jewels, and there’s Expressionist.
“He’s a 4-year-old who has won four races and will go through the grades. We will also qualify a horse named The Highlight this week. We think a lot of her,” Knight said.
Knight paid a tribute to his wife Jude who does all the manipulation and training of the horses.
“We would not have a stable if it wasn’t for Jude. She’s a wonderful horsewoman and was the major reason why ‘Lionel’ won first up for us,” Knight said.
The Knights have won 113 races from 892 starters since 2010. They have also placed 225 times for $715,441 in stakes.
Lionels Meddle was their first win in 2013-2014.
By Duane Ranger
Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand