Day At The Track

Record breakers galore in Southland

10:03 PM 24 Jun 2016 NZST
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Nek Time,Harness racing
Nek Time
Bruce Stewart

A relatively good summer, improved track grooming and the injection of some quality Canterbury horses led to a bumper season for track records in the Southern region.

Forty one track records were broken over all southern surfaces during the 2015-2016 season which wrapped up at Invercargill on Queens Birthday Monday - the highest number for many years. And twenty of those were also Southland records.

The Club that hosted the most track records for the season was Invercargill where 7 pacers made the list and 6 trotters were added to the record books.

The Young Quinn Raceway at Wyndham had 6 pacing and 1 trotting record broken, Central Southland Raceway at Winton had 6 pacers break records.

All other southern surfaces got amongst the action, Gore all weather (2 pacers), Omakau (2 pacers and 1 trotter), Roxburgh (1 pacer and 2 trotters), Gore Grass (4 pacers and 1 trotter) and Cromwell Grass (1 pacer and 1 trotter).

Heading the class of record breakers was Nek Time who broke the 2400 metre mobile record at Winton in February running 2-53.0 which was also a New Zealand record for a three year old filly. She also broke the 2700 metre mobile record at Invercargill for three year old fillies running 3-19.4. 

Meanwhile a number of Southland trainers are heading towards personal best seasons.

Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray is currently sitting on 24 winners which is 10 more than his previous best season of 14 in 2015.

Gray trains for Australian owners Merv and Meg Butterworth who purchase horses in the province and many stay here initially before heading to Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen in Canterbury, Tony Herlihy in Auckland or to Australian trainers.

Clark Barron recorded 22 training wins this season 4 more than his previous best of 18 in 2011 while Ascot Park trainer Brent Shirley who is only in his fourth season of training finished the season with 20 winners - 4 better than his old PB of 16 in 2014.

Alister Black was another young trainer to improve his standing with 13 winners. His previous personal best was 8 in 2013.

Driver Nathan Williamson was the only driver of note to better his driving PB. He currently has 86 wins on the board, that’s 8 better than the 78 he drove in 2013.  

Bruce Stewart - Southland Harness

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