Day At The Track

Trainer hopes to make mark with home-bred

12:00 PM 15 May 2020 NZST
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Axinite,Harness racing

Having watched every moment of his gelding’s growth and shared it with good friends, Mark Buckingham is exacting every bit of joy out of his trots involvement and hopes to do so again at Shepparton at 9.10pm.

That’s when Axinite will step out in the Cottrell Electrical Pace, with the lightly raced Roll With Joe gelding pursuing a third victory in his past four starts for his trainer.

“He’s maturing, he’s developing into a nice little racehorse,” Buckingham said. “He’s very professional and a very honest horse.”

As is the way for the Norong trainer, Axinite is a shared commodity, with Buckingham having bred and now raced him with Michael Arthurson and Colin Boldt.

“They are good mates and friends and are very positive about the sport,” he said, with the co-owners having also had a share in Rutherglen Ruby, a mare Buckingham purchased as a yearling who had a productive career of her own.

“There were a lot of first time owners involved and we had a lot of fun with her,” Buckingham said of the five-time winning Modern Art mare. “I raced her as a two-year-old and she raced in the semis of the two-year-old Vicbred the night Melton opened. It was a great thrill to get there that night.

“She came back as a three-year-old and won her first three starts. She was a really honest race mare, she had speed, but unfortunately injury curtailed her racing career.

“She was sent to the breeding barn, her first foal (Rubys Shadow) won five races, the next filly (Rubys Swan) had bad luck, and then Axinite. She’s had a further three since.”

Axinite entered the world on November 3, 2016, at Buckingham’s Norong property.

“We do all our AI (artificial insemination) here if we can, so they are conceived here, born in the front paddock. I rared him, broke him in. He has been here from day one. It is a great thrill to be able to do the work and have a nice horse.”

Axinite has produced four wins from his 12 starts, including two this campaign and a victory in New South Wales’ Breeders Challenge heats last July.

“He’s just a real nice honest racehorse, never really puts in a bad run,” Buckingham said. “He has had a bit of bad luck, but that’s racing, 98 per cent of the time he’s a nice horse to sit behind because he tries hard, has a bit of speed and a bit of bottom.”

He comes into tonight’s pace off a last start fifth, when he broke in the early stages after clipping a rival wheel, misfortune that followed two previous wins, courtesy in part to “a couple of lovely drives by Ryan (Sanderson)”.

Tonight he runs into a very nice horse in David Aiken’s likely favourite Reactor Now, who is first up since March 19 when he produced a dominant 23-metre win at Kilmore, a third victory on the trot. Reactor Now has drawn gate nine, directly outside Axinite who’s inside the back row.

“It’s going to take a lot to keep up with (Reactor Now). It is a difficult draw. (Axinite) is probably going to need luck to get amongst it. Hopefully he can keep improving. He is only lightly raced and still learning.”

Buckingham will also race Brie, who steps out in the first, the Hunter Rural Maiden Pace. Tonight marks the mare’s 24th start for a syndicate of about 30, which includes many first-time owners and “a lot of locals”.

She’s having her fifth start for the stable and Buckingham said “she just has to be in the right spot at the right time”.

“She still has her Vicbred bonus in her, so if we are lucky enough to pick it up that would be great for the owners. As much as it’s fantastic to win races, just having a horse racing gives people something to look forward to.

“They can’t all be superstars. On her track work she’s probably a little more honest, but when the pressure’s on she can be a bit intimidated. The owners are involved from a social point of view and and we just hope she can be competitive.”


Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong.

Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.


The good oil from the Vic trials circuit

BLACKBOOKER: Shepparton, R4 N5, American Sweethart

Was an impressive winner of the third trial. She began quickly from barrier six and stormed across the face of the field to lead then proceeded in running along at a genuine tempo. She ran her rivals off their legs and won by a big margin. REPORT & REPLAY


HRV - Michael Howard

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