Day At The Track

Top young trotters: Jenner & Mister Square

12:59 AM 22 Dec 2008 NZDT
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Jenner and trainer/driver Charlie Hunter
Jenner and trainer/driver Charlie Hunter

Young trotters to show exceptional ability in the first couple of seasons of the 1980s were Jenner and Mister Square. In a Vintage crop of three-year-olds in 1980-81, Jenner had four wins and 13 placing from 21 starts for $15,735.

He won the New Zealand Trotting Stakes by six lengths and in a time-trial at Alexandra Park in May 1981 shattered Halberg's 1963 record for three-year-old trotters of 2:08 by clocking 2:04.5.

At age four in 1981/82, Jenner's 23 yielded seven wins and 13 placing for $33,995; second only to seven-year-old Stormy Morn. With little racing luck in the big features he placed fifth in the Dominion and fourth in the Rowe Cup.

Trained for the Kenwood Syndicate by Charlie Hunter, Jenner was bred to be good. His sire Game Pride (by Hickory Pride, by Star's Pride), imported in 1972 by Roydon Lodge, and became New Zealand's premier trotting sire in 1980/81 with five crops racing. Again on top in 1981/82, he was second on the over-all sires' list behind Majestic Chance. Other top-flight Game Pride trotters included Special Pride, Sire Castleton and Game Folly.

Jenner's unraced dam Distinction was by Great Evander from Min Scott, Whom Hunter Drove to win the 1963 Dominion Handicap for his mother. Min Scott was by U. Scott from Royal Charge, the Light Brigade mare raced by Charlie's father Jack and who at Hutt Park in June 1954 gave Charlie his first winning drive.

Mister Square was the best New Zealand two-year-old trotter of 1980/81, being unbeaten in five starts. In his first win, at Claudelands in March, he raced the post 150 metres to the good of runner-up Stylish Way. Two months later at Alexandra Park he time-trialled over a mile in 2:06.1 ( last 800 metres in 1:01.1) to better by two second Westland King's long-held national mark for the two-year-old trotter.

At age three Mister Square was again tope. His 15 starts yielded six wins and eight placings for $16,635. He won the Rosso Antico stakas at Alexandra Park in May and beat older horse on all types of tracks and at distances ranging to 3200 metres before time-trialling at Auckland in June and lowering Jenner's 2:04.5 of the year before to 2:03.8.

One record Mister Square lost this term was his 2:06.1 two-year-old national marks, which was reduced in a time trial at Addington in May 1982 by Zebec (Crockett - Zenover, Bachelor Hanover) to 2:04.8.

Trained at Helensville by Tony Milina, co-owner with L. M. Carter, Mister Square was bred in Canterbury by the Star's Pride horse tuft from a Court Martial mare Little Eagle, whose dam Kaville left the useful trotters Ninety Days, Lessaday, Another Day and Isa Rangi. It is the family trcing to Quaker Girls, a daughter of thoroughbred stallion Tyranny.

Ron BISMAN

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