Day At The Track

Raiders with a dream

06:18 PM 28 Feb 2018 NZDT
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Jayne Davies
Former HRNSW Board Member Chris Edwards and trainer Jayne Davies.

Anyone who owns, trains, breeds or drives a Standardbred dreams of achieving Group One glory.

The lure of the “ Pot of Gold “ at the end of the rainbow is contagious, but often horsemen and women need to travel hundreds or thousands of kilometres in search of their dream.

Way back in 1936 horses travelled from afar as Tasmania and New Zealand to contest the first Inter Dominion series in Perth.

So the Pot of Gold that awaits the victors at the annual Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival has been attracting raiders from across the ditch in New Zealand or from across the Nullabor in WA since at least 1990.

The $200,000 prizemoney offered for the Gold Final in 1990 caught the attention of the connections of the Kiwi colt Master Musician.    He became the first sub 2.00 winner of either the Crown or the Tiara when he defeated Choice Vance and Rivers Road  and commenced a career that saw him win 34 races and almost $2 million in prizemoney.

The following year the WA owned and trained filly Miss Booth ventured across the Nullabor to hand defeat to a smart field of girls that included Secrets, Smooth Sensation, Cunning Atom and Hike Along.

Her reinsman Rod Chambers was enjoying those long distance raids back in the 1990’s. He drove Jack Morris to victory in the 1993 Inter Dominion Final in Brisbane as well as winning Group One races on the East Coast with the likes of Whitbys Miss Penny and Mon Poppy Day.

It didn’t take long for youngsters from Queensland and Victoria to join the party as well, such was the lure of racing the tight Bathurst Showgrounds circuit.

Sheza Fake in 1997 and Palmer Kate in 2000 proudly wore the Gold Tiara Crowns back in their home Sunshine State whilst the first Tiara Crown to head south to the Garden State was taken by Full Of Cheek in 1994, who gave plenty of cheek for trainer, reinsman Paul Grech to defeat the NSW fillies Alcol and Daunting.

The Victorian trainer Jayne Davies tasted success on four occasions through the early years of the 21st Century-  all with fillies owned by West Australians.

Lombo La Fe Fe won the Tiara in 2002 for Mr Lombo, Mick Lombardo; the Village Jasper filly Nemeeshar provided owners David Fuller and Joy Shrimpton with a career highlight win in 2003 whilst Amongst Royalty gave Ross Torre and his Royalstar Farm a well deserved Tiara victory in 2006.

Then just four years later Jayne trained the Robert Watson owned Aussie Made Lombo to victory over Vertigal and Leilani Lombo.

Aussie Made Lombo is a daughter of Bettors Delight and Tailamade Lombo and surprisingly is the only filly sired by the record breaking Bettors Delight to win a Tiara in its 30 year history.

The win of Nemeeshar in 2003 epitomises the “ Dream “ for the Pot of Gold.  Her owners Dave Fuller and Joy Shrimpton were convinced by the leviathan WA owner  Mick Lombardo to attend the 2002 Bathurst Gold Crown Carnival , which incidently gave Mick victory in the Tiara with Lombo La Fe Fe.

They enjoyed the holiday in the city of the Panorama so much that they vowed to return the following year to win the Tiara with their then Village Jasper yearling filly.

Well Dreams do turn into Reality for some of us as the lovely Village jasper did make the long trek across the Nullabor and with the moniker of Nemeeshar gave Dave and Joy the thrill of a lifetime.

On a track surface that could only be described as mud, Nemeeshar and champion WA reinsman ploughed through it better than her competitors to record a convincing 7 metre win.

“ We were very grateful to Mick Lombardo , who told us what a great Carnival the Bathurst Club organized each year “ said Joy recently.

“To win the Tiara and receive so many congratulations from the many people we had met the previous year was so exciting and unforgettable . “

“ It was truly a memorable week as Dave and myself then flew to Christchurch to watch another West Aussie in Baltic Eagle win the 2003 Inter Dominion Final. “

A famous female Country singer has been quoted as the author of these prophetic words- “ If you want the Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow then first you’ve got to put up with some rainy days. “

Well Dave and Joy won a Gold Tiara at their first attempt so they didn’t have to experience too many “ rainy days “……   except that one on 29th March 2003!


John Coffey

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