Day At The Track

Six wins in seven days

09:59 AM 21 Jan 2017 NZDT
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Mentor:Tony Herlihy & Tim Vince
Tony Herlihy & Tim Vince

Tim Vince can walk on water… and not just in the shower either.

The Kumeu trainer has been on fire notching up six wins from as many starters at three meetings – all in just seven days.

Vince made it six-from-six at Cambridge Raceway last night (Friday) when his flagship horse, KD Hall and Tony Herlihy (MNZM) won the $7,000 Fairview Motors Cambridge Handicap for the R50 and faster trotters. 

He was the $1.40 favourite, and it was a gutsy performance from his 40m handicap.

But the biggest shock of all came from the appropriately named Chal Shocked, who left people gobsmacked, when winning the $10,000 Kiwi Bus Builders Handicap for the R66 and faster pacers.

The Jereme’s Jet gelding was the eighth favourite of eight and paid a whopping $34.60 to win.

Bought from the South Island for a mere $5,000 in September last year, the 5-year-old got up in the last stride to beat second favourite M o casino (Zac Butcher) by a nose.

Typically humble, Vince diverted all the praise to Ardmore driver, Scott Phelan.

“I’m rapt for Scotty. We have been friends for over 20 years and this year has been a tough one for him. He’s a such a good driver and I want to support him as much as possible.

“You don’t win more than 400 races and earn more than $4.3 million in your career by just sitting there. He’s a very talented driver and I’d never hesitate putting him on. The industry needs experience and quality like him,” 61-year-old Vince said.

Vince has now doubled his season tally from six to 12 wins in just seven days. The latest half dozen victories now means he has recorded a season best.

Last season he won nine races and to date has nailed 41 career victories ($311,123) since taking out his licence in 2012.

"It's all luck. We have had the good draws, the good runs, and not one of our drivers has put a foot wrong. Any other day we might have drawn wide, got back and be running on for perhaps a place.

"This harness sport is like a game of poker. You never know which hand you will be dealt. We have had a lot of luck. It's not a trainer thing," the ultra modest Vince said.

His golden run of form started last Friday night at Cambridge when Chal Shocked and Vince’s partner, Sheryl Wigg in the $8,000 McMillan Equine Feeds Amateur Mobile for the Up to R63 pacers. Then later on that card, KD Hall and Herlihy nailed the $10,000 Breckon Farms R60 and faster trot.

Then a day later Drover's Eyre and Wigg won the $6,000 Classic Cuisine Amateur Drivers R63-plus pace at Rotorua. Four races later Monnay and Brent Mangos were too good in the $8,000 Ruck N Maul Rotorua Handicap for the R50 and faster trotters.

“I’m just an amateur trainer who tried to get the best out of people’s unwanted horses. I do my best to place them where I can.

“KD Hall ($10,000) is the most expensive horse in our barn. Drover’s Eyre only cost us $2,000, and we paid just $6,000 for Monnay,”Vince said.

“I recently bought another amateur horse from the South Island named Franco Hamilton for Sheryl to drive. He’s won twice and placed twice from his last four starts in Otago and Southland,” he added.

On the way home from Cambridge last night, Vince and Wigg were at odds about KD hall’s career.

“I want to retire him because I think he’s met his mark.The ratings will tell you that. He’s been so good to us and deserves a nice early retirement. He’s only seven but that is my gut feeling.

“But Sheryl wants to start him in a 3000m race at Tauranga next start. He might start in that. We will just wait and see, but because of his rating my heart is telling me to call it quits with him. He deserves that,” Vince said.

The son of Quite Easy had to work hard to notch up his 10th win in 62 starts last night.

He started beautifully from his back-mark and after 400m found himself in fourth position. Herlihy then had him in the one-one at the bell.

Then the master driver swept to the lead at the end of the back straight before holding on to win by half a length from Primus Inter Pares (Scott Phelan.

KD Hall trotted the 2700mstand from 40m behind in 3:29.1 (mile rate 2:04.6) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 60.4 and 29.7. 

Meanwhile Vince said he would continue to race Chal Shocked.

“He’s also met his mark, but I don’t mind so much with him because I’m thinking one day he will be back in the amateur races again and Sheryl will be able to drive him.

“He’s turned out way better than what I thought he would. That was a gutsy win last night, but it was all Scotty. That was one hell of a drive.

“I don’t think we would have won that race last night had it not been for his prowess in the bike,” said Vince.

Vince also paid a tribute to Wigg and Tabatha Fensom.

“They do all the work at the stable. I’m nothing more than a stablehand. Without them we would not be winning,” he said.

Duane Ranger

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