Day At The Track

Tony Herlihy takes out fifth Rowe Cup

10:11 AM 29 Apr 2017 NZST
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Tony Herlihy
Tony Herlihy, who won the Rowe Cup for the fifth time with Temporale at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
FairFax NZ Photo

Sometimes you just can't beat experience. Harness racing driver Tony Herlihy, 58, showed all of his in driving Temporale to an upset win in the Group I $150,000 Rowe Cup Trot at Alexandra Park in Auckland on Friday night.

Herlihy joined the great Peter Wolfenden at the top of the Rowe Cup (3200m) honours board with his fifth winning drive in harness racing's big northern trot - and he did it with an inch-perfect run.

As the field fanned out in the home straight, Herlihy stayed cool on the marker pegs and when favourite Habibti Ivy moved out just enough, he and Temporale pounced, going to the line easily, to beat Habibti Ivy, drvien by Blair Orange, by a long neck. Bordeaux, who raced outside the leader, battled gamely for third.

"Blair's mare moved out in the straight and gave us just enough room to get through without touching a marker peg," a smiling Herlihy told Trackside.

READ MORE: Too easy for Lazarus in the Taylor Mile

Temporale has been one of the rising trotters in the north and didn't deserve to be at a $35 price after a stout fourth in the Anzac Cup a week earlier.

The four-year-old was a big horse, who was continuing to develop, Herlihy, the horse's trainer, said. Herlihy's wife Suzanne is one of the owners of the horse.

His previous wins in the cup were behind Gee du Jour (1991), Diamond Field (1994) and One Over Kenny (2007 and 2009).


It was a case of deja vu in the main pacing race, with Lazarus leading home the same All Stars trifecta as the Taylor Mile a week earlier.

From his inside barrier, Lazarus scorched to an early lead and was untroubled to win, even though Waikiki Beach got as close as a neck on the line. Golden Goddess boxed on well for third.

It was Lazarus 12th Group I win, and his 27th from 32 starts overall. He will now go for a spell before returning for the spring.


His win was the second Group I victory of the night for the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen combination, after the classy Elle Mac claimed the 2YO Sires Stakes Championship, while Enghien was far too good in the night's other Group I the Northern Trotting Derby for three-year-old trotters. 

Both horses won Group I races the week before.

Elle Mac


Reprinted with permission of Stuff

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