Day At The Track

Temporale upsets

08:06 AM 29 Apr 2017 NZST
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Temporale,Harness racing
Temporale winning the Rowe Cup
HRNZ photo

Sometimes once you break the drought its keep raining.

And that was the case on two fronts when Temporale caused one of the biggest upsets of the harness racing season in the $150,000 Canam Rowe Cup at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

Group one trotting winners at 34-1 are rare in New Zealand but a fast start and perfect run on the markers saw the four-year-old outsprint favourites Habibti Ivy and Bordeaux in the north’s richest trot.

And that is where the broken drought comes in.

Until last season no four-year-old in over 30 years had won the Rowe Cup - Monbet did it in 2016 and now Temporale has made it two in a row.

More remarkably, until The Orange Agent won the Breeders Stakes at Addington a few weeks ago New Zealand’s greatest ever reinsman Tony Herlihy had been undergoing his own personal drought, with no group one driving wins in over three years.

Now he has two in April and also trains Temporale, with his wife Suzanne also sharing in the ownership.

Herlihy thought Friday night’s race may have been a year too soon for Temporale but his drive helped enormously and the son of Monarchy looks like being a factor in open class trotting for years to come.

His win also started a stunning double for one of Temporale’s owners Kevin Riseley, who also shares in the ownership of Lazarus, who 30 minutes later ended his season with an effortless win the Messenger Pace.

He led and outsprinted stablemate Waikiki Beach in a 54 second last 800m, with Riseley watching from Australia as his four-year-olds completed the group one dream double.

Earlier in the night Elle Mac in the Sires’ Stakes Fillies Final and Enghien in the Northern Trotting Derby ended any arguments over who is the best of their respective crops when they bolted in.

Enghien added gate speed to his arsenal and led all the way while Elle Mac overcome a second line draw over 1700m to remain unbeaten.


Michael Guerin



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