After twelve days of holiday in balmy Bali, there is plenty to recap. So, here goes...
*Wastney knocks down six figures
Marlborough based -owner, Brian Wastney, has slammed down a six figure offer for the impressive Rangiora winner (August 18) Strawbs Ideal Act.
The tall four-year-old son of American Ideal was going to, as his trainer-driver Nigel McGrath put it, “Hurt them!” before he scrambled and lost 20 metres at the 250 metre mark. Yet he still managed to regain his composure and power home for 1 & ¾ lengths win over capable maiden, Vice Chairman. The skip was put down to his hopples being too long for the easy track conditions. The offer is said to have been made by a prominent Queensland owner. The impressive type will now line up next week in a Junior Drivers event, where he will attempt to give Nicole Harris her first win.
*First driving win for Matt Anderson
Junior reinsman, Matthew Anderson, claimed his first winner at the same Rangiora meeting in what was just his second raceday drive. His first drive resulted in a second on the same horse that gave him win number one – Highview Ember.
The 21-year-old, who has got no family involvement in the sport, got into racing through some of his class mates at St Thomas of Canterbury College.
His early education in racing was with former Amateur Driving Champion, Gavin Cook, before spending two years with Dean Taylor.
When Robbie Close changed stables nine months ago and went to Greg & Nina Hope’s, Anderson took the vacancy he left at Robbie Holmes.
“Robbie and Carla are great to work for and have taught me a lot.”
“I also owe a big thank you to Highview Ember’s owners Hamish Scott & Kim Lawson. It wasn’t actually a Junior Drivers race so it was very good of them to give me the opportunity.”
Anderson was also thankful to his sponsor, major galloping owner, Ray Coupland.
*NZ bets of the week ring-around/ Keeping Up Joneses: To the writers of the dozens of emails we received regarding the disappearance of these two segments – don’t threat! They will both be back next week.
*For the record: The last ring-around produced six winners and two quinellas.
The biggest win divvy came courtesy of Simon Lawson and Surreal Moment ($10.80). While the quinella with Josh Dickie’s tip, Hezadoo Early, returned a tidy $23.70.
*Greater Canterbury AGM 2013
A small but select group of members attended the recent AGM of the Greater Canterbury Branch, along with Edward Rennell and Andrew Morris from HRNZ.
Subjects discussed included handicapping, turnover, nominations, and opportunities for fillies and mares and lower grade trotters.
A suggestion that four year-old awards be handed out for the past season was also made.
As reported previously Anthony has decided to stand down as Chairman of the Greater Canterbury Branch, and Ken Barron was voted in to replace him.
Anthony’s' shoes will be very difficult ones to fill; he has been extremely active and pro-active as Chairman, both in the public eye and behind the scenes, being part of numerous Committees on a wide range of matters, and handling countless other issues and dramas that have cropped up during the years of his tenure. He has graciously agreed to continue to be part of the Committee, and will no doubt contribute much more in the future.
by Mitchell Robertson