Day At The Track

Memorable victory on a day of reflection

01:59 PM 27 Apr 2019 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Greg Sugars returns after victory at Swan Hill on Emain Macha
Greg Sugars returns after victory at Swan Hill on Emain Macha
Marnya Watson Photo

Astute South Australian harness racing trainer Greg Scholefield had every reason to show some emotion when cheering home his star pacer Emain Macha in Thursday’s feature race at Swan Hill.

Scholefield, who is based at Naracoorte in the south east, spent two years as an Australian soldier nearly 50 years ago as part of the National Service Scheme - compulsory military service for the nation’s young men.

Scholefield started his Army training in 1969 at Victoria’s Puckapunyal training facility and later spent time at Singleton Army base, in NSW.

So it was a moving win by Emain Macha (Safari-Machabella (Mach Three)  in the Swan Hill RSL Anzac Day Cup.

“Every Anzac Day is special. It means something to anyone with a sense of respect and loyalty to our country. I think it’s important to pay tribute to our forebears for the life we are all enjoying,” Scholefield said.

It was Scholfield’s first trip to race at the Swan Hill circuit.

“I don’t worry too much about travelling because I really enjoy getting around to the different places,” he said.

“But Swan Hill is a super track. It’s a credit to the two codes of horse racing that they can share the one complex.”

Driven forward from the wide six alley, gun Melbourne reinsman Greg Sugars rated the five-year-old to perfection at ahead of affairs, with an opening half of 59.5 secs, clicking the gelding up a gear in the latter stages with splits of 27.4 and 27.8.

Emain Macha’s run equalled the track record and Sugars, who made the three-and-a-half-hour drive for just one engagement for his long-time friend Scholefield, was impressed by the win.

“Schoey had the horse spot on and it showed in the times we ran.  I probably could have let him slide a bit more midrace, but it’s all about winning not breaking race records,” Sugars said.

“I don’t drive very often at Swan Hill, but I wasn’t going to miss it because Emain Macha has been a good horse to me.”

Scholefield races the pacer in partnership with Gail Davis, Peter Lamond and father and son John and Sean Penny.

Trainer Greg Scholefield (right) with Swan Hill Trotting Club Gerry Maloney, Swan Hill RSL President Barry Townley and Vice Pres Peter Ritchie

The likeable trainer purchased Emain Macha privately from Shepparton breeder and horse breaker Heath Redwood.

“I didn’t hesitate to buy him because I’ve tried to stay with the same family. I’ve had lots of success with horses purchased from the Redwoods and Emain Macha is related to two of them,” Scholefield.

“This family stems from Unique Icon (The Unicorn-Tender Reign (The Contender) who was a star in the early 2000s with 21 wins and 11 placings for $230,000,” he said.

“Every horse I’ve tried from Heath has been good.”

Scholefield, a former full-time builder, has been training horses on-and-off for the past 30 to 35 years.

“When I retired from my trade about 10 years ago, it’s just been horses ever since.”

But Scholefield has made the most of his opportunities, and despite training only a small team at any one time, his results are super impressive.

“I aim to place them in the most suitable races, and I reckon we’ve had some success with doing that – if it means hitting the road then that’s what we do.”

Scholefield said he was unsure where that road would take him next.

“I won’t be doing anything for at least a fortnight, but I guess it’s about time to look at Melton again for Emain Macha and (stablemate) Kingofthestars.”

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: