Jimmy Curtin like his late father Reg made the Westport meeting on Boxing Day a trip on the racing calendar that was always well and truly marked in year in year out.
This year Jimmy had Maximan entered in the Pulse Energy Westport Cup and despite starting off the 10 metres the handicap proved to of little consequence as he strode to the parked position inside the final 1100 metres and from there looked completely in control widening his winning margin of four lengths the closer he got to the winning post from Jeans Majesty and Graduate Under Fire third. Rozelski who was close to the pace be it wide inside the final 700 metres couldn’t kick on in the straight as punters would have liked finishing fourth.
Maximan a five year old gelding byrecorded win number five and his stakes close to $50,000 for owner Russell Nieper.
After nearly starting the day on a winning note with Galeena Curtin got the race he really wanted.
His ability to set horses for the Westport circuit is legendary and the two time New Zealand Cup winning driver has plenty of respect so much so the despite Maximans passable run at Waimate when ninth of 14 the horse was kept very safe on the tote at $6 on the tote.
The time of 4.10 for the 3200 metres was faster than Borana went to win his New Zealand Cup so the run was a very good one.
Curtins maiden Galeena looks a good bet on the second day if it can draw the front line and of the beaten brigade today at Westport horses to follow for the second day are trotters Jean Sebastian and Gin Rummy both who got back in their respective races but made very good ground in the straight.
The forecast for Sundays racing is for fine weather.