Day At The Track

Rydgemont Milly's home course win

07:51 AM 21 Nov 2016 NZDT
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Rydgemont Milly winning at Ascot Park
Photo - Bruce Stewart

She's been one of the big improvers of the Southland Harness Racing season and Rydgemont Milly won her second race at Ascot Park today.

She's trained by Mark Shirley, President of the Invercargill Harness Racing Club and his partner Debbie Larkins

"I came across her on Horse Trader. I was looking around for something that I could prepare. I contacted Murray Tapper (owner) on the website and he felt she was just going to need time. I said I've got time," said Debbie who works as the Office Manager at a local Doctors practice.

Rydgemont Milly is by Monarchy out of the ten win Sundon mare Domination and is the mare's first foal. 

"When I first got her I thought he was right about her going to take time. She had a bit of a jibbing habit. The first couple of times I put her in the cart she planted all four legs and I had to walk her home swearing and cursing at her with the reins in my hands. After she did that a few times I thought that I'd put her on the frame. From there she never looked back. For the next few months she was on the frame every day and we long reined her again and spent a lot of time mucking around with just basic stuff."

Larkins drove her to win at Gore last month. Junior driver Andrew Fitzgerald drove the mare on the first day of the two day Wyndham meeting with Clark Barron taking over for her other two starts, including today.

After the win Larkins said she'll have a couple of weeks off to freshen. 

"Just during the week Mark and I felt she didn't feel her usual happy self and Clark made the same comment today. We can't find anything major wrong with her so we'll just give her a wee break." 

From the front line the five year old stepped well. She trotted in fourth place early before she was checked by a breaking Bobbin,s finally settling four back on the inside. At the 600 metre mark Barron was able to push off when I've Got This broke and Och Aye The Noo weakened. At the top of the straight she trotted easily into second, challenging pacemaker Sundon's Flyer. She was tapped up by Barron to beat Sundon's Flyer by a length and a quarter with Bobbins coming home well for third.  

Debbie Larkins and Mark Shirley with Rydgemont Milly           Photo Bruce Stewart

"Clark said she stepped away very well today which has been her nemesis. In the past it's taken a few hundred metres to get her head in the right space. We put ear plugs in again and tried them for the second time and Clark said this time it worked." 


Bruce Stewart
Southland Harness Racing

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