Day At The Track

Two Ply late developer

08:14 AM 07 May 2017 NZST
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Two Ply after winning at Gore
Photo by Bruce Stewart

Edendale harness racing trainer Craig Laurenson has been training for South Otago owner Ian Bennett for eighteen years with Bennett providing Laurenson with his first win; Zapp, at the Tuapeka meeting in November 1999.

The partnership produced another winner today at Gore when Two Ply won the Advance Agriculture Limited Mobile Pace. 

Laurenson went to school with Bennett's children and the relationship developed from there.

"He always came out to the farm. His father actually trained a few horses part time at one stage. I helped him get started. Zapp was the first horse I gave him. He won four races for me and went to America. I've been pretty loyal ever since," said Bennett.  

Today was start number thirty two for Two Ply. 

"He's finally starting to understand what racing is all about now. Craig always knew he had ability it's just been a long time coming out. I remember seeing him run as a two year old at the trials and he showed real speed that day. He never showed it much until he won at Winton. He showed it again about four starts ago. He's finally come to it in his last half a dozen starts." 

Driver Brad Williamson settled Two Ply five back on the inside running line. Inside the last lap he managed to get him off the inside. Then approaching the 800 metres he moved out three wide and followed up Night March. At the top of the straight he was challenging out wide and ran down Night March to win by half a length.

Two Ply and Brad Williamson beating Night March on the inside - Photo Bruce Stewart

"In his first ten starts he was on the unruly. He finally sneaked one (a win) this time last year. The whole family are late maturing. They don't really start to race until they're late three year olds."

Of the seventy two winners Laurenson has now trained, thirty six have been owned by Bennett. Their best winners have been On The Double (10), Lord Patrol (5), On Sky (5) and Zapp (4)  

Bennett is still an active breeder with On The Double, her full sister Lady Patrol and Clifton Beauty still being bred from.

"The best one out of her (On The Double) has been Wick who has now won eight or nine races in America."

Wick won five races for Wyndham trainer Brendon McLellan. 

Maximan is another good horse the Bennett/Laurenson partnership developed. He was out of Clifton Beauty and won three races for Laurenson before he was bought by Jim Curtin. 

"When we sold him he had about eight seconds in a row. We then sold him to Jimmy and he won the Westport and Reefton Cups then he sold him on to Aussie."

He's won a further nine races in Australia and has a lifetime record of 60-18-10-7 $220,129 (1-53.0 AUS). 

Bruce Stewart
Southland harness Racing


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