Day At The Track

Pacing bred mare succeeds as a trotter

05:43 AM 31 Mar 2009 NZDT
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Harnesslink - Invercargill Harness Racing Club

She wasn't born to trot but Bonnie Harvest, by Live Or Die from a Holmes Hanover mare, whose third dam was the nine-race winner of the 1983 Great Northern Oaks Harvest Gold, mastered the gait in style at Ascot Park in Invercargill today (31 March).

Bonnie Harvest hadn't raced for almost 12 months and only entered the stable of local trainer Curly Thomas about six weeks ago, after being leased by racing reporter Jamie Searle.

Christian Cullen three-year-old Mista Styx, from the stable of Murray Brown, returned from an injury enforced layoff to score his first win today.

"He got a curbed hock after Gore (27 December) and we had to deal with that before he could race again," Brown said.

Purchased at the Christchurch premier sale for $25,000, Mista Styx is raced by the Mister Syndicate that includes the father of winning driver Andrew Armour.

"He has got good gate speed and will get better with racing," Brown said of the gelding.

Winton saddler John Earl has recently returned to the ranks of trainers, and today to the ranks of winning trainers, with the win of Beaudiene Riviera. The Riverboat King four-year-old from Beaudiene Belle was bred by major operators Dave and Dawn Kennedy who race the mare with Earl himself, and his partner Juliet Perkov.

"Dave was jogging her up but had to get his shoulder fixed up so I took over," Earl said, "it is four years since I had a licence, she is my third winner."

Eight-year-old trotter Major Grant made use of Tuesday racing to score his first win since September. Trained and driven by Darryn Simpson, Major Grant was having start number sixty and winning for the third time.

Xativa was having his fourth start in the south when scoring his first career win today. Trained by Jack Smolenski until his recent illness, Xativa was presented today by Makarewa (near Invercargill) trainer Brett Gray. His Uncle and Aunt, Max and Ali Mathias, race Xativa.

An Elsu two-year-old competed successfully against all ages today. Bred, raced and trained by Greg Hunter, he was starting for just the second time having run seventh on debut in the juvenile race won by Kotare Mach.

"I put him in for the experience," Hunter said, "the next two-year-old race is not until sometime next month (Winton, 19 April)."

Hot Ripple's dam Cool Ripple won five times for Hunter who said she was a well-mannered mare and her foal is of a similar demeanour.

Kaitangata farmer Jack Marshall bred the Road Machine mare Frosty Road and also her only foal Songs O'Spring who today won her second race from just six starts.

Johnny Rocket also won his second race, when successful for his Waikouaiti owners Bruce and Colleen Negus.

Details of the day's winners are:



Bonnie Harvest, Live Or Die, Curly Thomas, Graeme Thomas


Mista Styx, Christian Cullen, Murray Brown, Andrew Armour


Beaudiene Riviera, Riverboat King, John Earl, Tony Stratford


Major Grant, Grant Our Wishes, Darryn Simpson, Darryn Simpson


Xativa, David's Pass, Brett Gray, Jonny Cox


Hot Ripple, Elsu, Greg Hunter, Andrew Suddaby


Songs O'Spring, Live Or Die, Brendon McLellan, Brendon McLellan


Johnny Rocket, Presidential Ball, Bruce Negus, Brent Barclay


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