Day At The Track

Chris Hunter - no time to celebrate

12:32 PM 18 Jan 2014 NZDT
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Trafalgar trotting trainer Chris Hunter didn't have much time to celebrate the win of his horse Dawn Tears at Yarra Valley last Thursday afternoon.

By evening, he and his family were implementing plans to protect their propertly from a bushfire at nearby Westbury, which came within approximately two kilometres of his stables.

Courtesy of the generosity of fellow local harness owners and trainers, some 25 horses were evacuated from the Hunter property on Thursday night.

The horses were taken to the Warragul harness racing track and the Drouin West property of Gary and Debbie Quinlan, who themselves survived the 2009 Black Saturday fires.

Along with Dawn Tears, the Hunter family also has such valuable racing stock as Slancio, Stuck In Second, Live In Doubt and Village Cruiser, all race winners. The horses will remain away from the property until such time as the all clear is given.

As of Friday afternoon, the Hunter's were anxiously awaiting further advice on what the weather would do, regarding wind direction, and where that would take the fire after it flared again in the Friday heat.
Some 20 fire trucks, assisted by waterbombing aircraft, have been battling the flames since the fire was sparked by lightning strikes overnight on Wednesday.

Once the fire is under control, Chris and his reinsman son Glenn will be able to reflect on Dawn Tears win last week.

Despite the stifling heat, Dawn Tears produced a brilliant winning performance after some recent unlucky runs.

Although the mare has only won two races from 34 starts, she has earned connections minor prizemoney on a further 15 occasions, so with a little more luck her winning ratio could have been greater.

Dawn Tears is by a trotting sire, however her mum was a pacer. Golden Teardrops was a multiple race winner for the Hunter's some 10 years ago.

Capping off a good day for local trainers at the Yarra Valley meeting was a race-to-race double for trainer Michael Hughes, who has recently shifted his stable from Longwarry North to Cranbourne.
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