Day At The Track

Star Galleria leaves them to it

11:13 AM 12 Jun 2017 NZST
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Star Galleria,Harness racing
Star Galleria
HRNZ photo

The Pukekohe 3-year-old Art Major gelding who earlier this season beat recent Emerald Jewels winner, Jacks Legend in a Sires Stakes heat (October 14), was back to his very best at Alexandra Park on Friday.

Star Galleria didn’t beat any horses of Jacks Legend’s quality in the feature pace, but they way he left them to it by five-and-a-half lengths - in very good time (2:40.1) - suggests he’s as good as what his his Pukekohe trainer/driver, Steven Reid, has made out all all along.

“It felt like the old Star Galleria was back. It was good to drive him tonight and get a real feel as to where he’s exactly at in race conditions. It can be different in work but he set some nice sectionals tonight. I was pleased with the way he paced strongly to the line,” Reid said.

Star Galleria and Reid led all the way from gate four in Friday’s $14,999 Marlin Transport 2200m mobile for the R67 to R76 pacers. The bay paced a 1:57.3 mile rate and came home in 55.5 and 27.8 on a cold old Auckland night. He was the $3.30 favourite.

Reid always thought Star Galleria was a solid Jewels prospect, but when he only qualified on the cusp of the rankings Reid decided to bring him back north, rather than start him against the guns in Ashburton.

““Earlier this season I thought he was just below Alta Machete and Vincent in the 3-year-old ranks. After those two I thought he had the measure of most of the rest.

“That’s why I took him to Christchurch last month, but perhaps he’s taken longer than what I thought he would to get over his injury which put him back quite a bit,” Reid said.

“And on hindsight perhaps I should have started him in the Final down south, but he wasn’t going like he did tonight, and his long-term welfare is what I’m most concerned about,” he added.

Seven months ago Reid would have given Star Galleria little chance of winning so soon. He kicked out at a gate and suffered serious leg injuries.

“He got a massive hole in his leg and I actually thought that might be his career all over before it hardly started. The vet told me if the hole had been three or four inches lower on the hock that would have been the end of him ever racing again.

“His health comes first and I believe if I look after him he will make a very nice 4-year-old. As far as I’m aware he’s not paid up for the Breeder’s Crown, and now that he’s back healthy again, I think I’ll give him maybe one more race this season and then tip him out,” Reid said.

Star Galleria’s fourth win in nine starts also provided Reid with his first driving success of 2016-2017 and first since he steered Mo Casino to win at Alexandra Park in January last year.

Meanwhile, the feature trot – the $14,999 Riordan & West Transport Mobile for the R75 to R95 squaregaiters saw Robert Dunn pick up his first win in eight starts with Yagunnakissmeornot.

Yagunnakissmeornot relocated from Sean McCaffrey and Ross Paynter's former Cambridge barn in January and Friday’s triumph was her first for the season..

The 5-year-old Love You – Dutch Annie brown mare has now won 13 of her career 41 starts – all 13 of them at Alexandra Park (from 35 starts). Her stake earnings currently sit at $131,129.


Duane Ranger

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