Day At The Track
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“What a bitch she was as a young horse!.I couldn't wait to get her off the place!” That's Robert Earle's early recollection of 'Maiden Rome', the Elrae Lodge harness racing mare now well and truly considered part of the family. The 7 year old's 1.59 victory in the 'Prodigal Seelster Summer of Speed Series' opener at Methven this month was her eighth win and third for the calendar year. A giant leap from going around in the amateur ranks this time last year. Chatting from Tuscon, Arizona where he was attending the annual world racing conference, Rob Earle puts his homebred's best year down to beach training. “She was feeling her old joints around our home track and was 'hot or cold' on race days because of it I think. I was travelling away a lot and Steve Golding had just started working with Greg and Nina Hope's beach stable. He wanted a horse to keep on the board with the race driving and had won with her in the past so they made a logical team.” The combination started with back to back 'metro' wins in July, collected the $7500 Addington 'met multiplier' bonus along the way and the form held all spring! Enough, in fact, for 'Maiden Rome' to be among nominations for the New Zealand Cup no less, then be considered unlucky not to win a couple of other country cups to boot. “She helped me with an amateur drive victory at the Tuapeka races last year and I really thought that was us just about done with the winners circle.” Maiden Rome at Methven Rob Earle doesn't get as many opportunities as Maiden Rome to show his race day talents given the time he spends overseas as CEO for the once high profile '123 Racing' product. The bet type which had enough presence down under to back a live broadcast of New Zealand Cup day in 2007 has since gained traction in the USA. It's introduction at several major tracks has helped '123' accumulate a million dollar turnover the last three months. Earle's making another 'push' for his pet project in Australasia this year, hence the '123' race colours on 'Maiden Rome' at Methven. “We've teamed up with the addington123.com website this season and I'm keen to revisit the New Zealand and Australia prospects in the New Year. I think we were just ahead of our time back then.” Meantime the other pet, 'Maiden Rome' continues on an extended racing schedule. Earle admits she should really be in foal but that's for next season now given her 'Summer of Speed' form heading to Boxing Day's holiday heat in  Ashburton. “Actually we bred her from a free service so the Prodigal Seelster series might be the right formula for Maiden Rome too” thinks Rob. The bloodlines are a tidy match and the 'Summer of Speed' seems a good fit so far. “She's definitely the best horse we've had. The only one to truly pay her way.” Easy as 1 2 3 this racing game eh? Link here to the Ashburton Summer of Speed Heat (R9 on Boxing Day) Prodigal Seelster Camluck Cam Fella Most Happy Fella Nan Cam Lucky Lady Striking Image Just Our Luck Platinum Seelster Western Hanover No Nukes Wendymae Hanover Parcel Abercrombie Barbret Maiden Rome Julius Caesar In The Pocket Direct Scooter Black Jade Pleasant Franco Bo Scots Blue Chip Pleasant Evening Jazz Tempo Shiney Key Abercrombie Keystone Shineola Jazzmania Enterprise Royal Tempo  Sheldon Murtha.  Top Of The Trots Media.

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