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In this series sponsored by Southern Bred Southern Reared, Bruce Stewart looks back on some of the great harness racing stock that’s come out of the Southern region. Whilst last year he profiled horses from the south that have become millionaires, this series is about other pacers and trotters that that were bred, reared and raced for part of career in Southland, and made an impact in the Harness Racing industry. Diamond Field Age: 1986 Bay Gelding by Yankee Jolter out of Robyn Evander Bred by: Nigel and Marianne Sim Raced by: Southland Standardbred Number Two Syndicate Trained by: Allan Beck, Roy and Barry Purdon, Mark Purdon, Neil Cavallaro and Patrick O’Reilly Race record: 150 starts, 33 wins, 29 seconds, 20 thirds for $536,607 in stakes. Best season: As a 7 year old 19 starts, 7 wins, 4 seconds and 2 thirds for $212,480 Successful trainers with wins: Roy and Barry Purdon (12), Allan Beck (8), Mark Purdon (6), Neil Cavallaro (5) and Patrick O’Reilly (2). (33) Successful driver with wins: Tony Herlihy (15), Allan Beck (7), Paul Cavallaro (4), Mark Purdon (3), Patrick O’Reilly (2), Al Chapman (1) and Kirk Larsen (1). (33) New Zealand Records: 11/05/1996 Auckland TC 2200 metre stand 2-48.8 04/05/1996 Auckland TC 2700 metre stand 3-26.6 18/03/1995 New Zealand Metropolitan TC 2000 metre mobile 2-29.3 NB: This record stood for 16 years before being bettered by I Can Doosit 2-25.0. Major wins: 1994 FAI Rowe Cup (Group One) $90,000 OC Handicap Trot 3200 metres. (To watch this race click on this link) 1994 Interdominion Trotting Championship at Harold Park 1996 FAI City of Sails FFA Trot (Group Two) M5 and faster 2200 metres. 1993 Air New Zealand New Zealand Trotting Free For All (Group Two) OC FFA Mobile 2600 metres 1993 Radio Pacific Challenge Stakes (Group Two) C5 and faster FFA Mobile 2700 metres 1995 Firestone Firehawk New Zealand Trotting Championship (Group Three) Major Placings: 2nd 1993 Dominion Trotting Handicap (Group One) 2nd 1993 Rowe Cup (Group One) 3rd 1997 V.L. Dullard Trotters Cup 1996 Waikato Times Flying Mile (Group Two) 1995 New Zealand Trotting FFA (Group Two) 1994 National Trotting FFA (Group Two) 1997 EB Cochran Trotters Cup 1993 New Zealand Trotting Championship (Group Three) 1993 Canterbury Park Trotting Cup (Group Three) Australian form: 28 starts, 9 wins, 7 seconds and 4 thirds for $153,178 in stakes. Note: Diamond Field started in five Interdominion Championship Finals finishing 4th (1993), 1st (1994), 3rd (1995), 6th (1996) and 6th (1997). Southland trainer Allan Beck developed Diamond Field and remembers him well. “He was quite flighty. He was more like a thoroughbred than a standardbred,” he said. As a yearling Diamond Field was destined for the Sales in Christchurch. And although he made it to the sales complex, he never made the sales ring. “They couldn’t plait his main so they got the vet to come round and tranquilise him. But after a tranquiliser they still couldn’t do it so he never went through the ring.” Beck was then given the task of training the Yankee Jolter gelding which owner Grant Sim syndicated. “When you were on the track he’d spot anything 200 metres away and he’d shy and get off gait. That’s why it took longer to get him moulded.  The only time he got a bit of a fright was the first day he went to the workouts. He drew the outside and the tape went from the inside to the outside. When the tape was released it hit the outside running rail and that woke him up a bit.” At one point Beck, who was training a large team at the time was starting to struggle with the flighty trotter. “I said to Grant ‘look he’s going to take a bit of time and he may be better with a trainer with a smaller team.’ But he said the syndicate wanted him to stay with me. We got him going and he won his first start as a three year old. As time went by he did relax. But even when he won the Interdominion he had a break in the run.” Diamond Field ended up winning eight races for the Winton trainer before he was transferred to Roy and Barry Purdon’s stable. “He had a great engine and that always stood to him.” Diamond Field in the birdcage at Ascot Park with Allan Beck in October 2016.   Bruce Stewart

In this series sponsored by Southern Bred Southern Reared, Bruce Stewart looks back on some of the great harness racing stock that’s come out of the Southern region. Whilst last year he profiled horses from the south that have become millionaires, this series is about other pacers and trotters that that were bred, reared and raced for part of career in Southland, and made an impact in the Harness Racing industry. David Moss Age: 1983 Bay Gelding Sire: Gekoj Dam: Proud Countess (Hickory Pride) Breeder: Captain Oddvar Andersen. Owner: Estate of Harry Cox and Captain Oddvar Andersen. Trainers: John Cox, Robert Cameron, Clive Herbert and Bob Mellsop. First win: Northern Southland Trotting Club at Ascot Park – February 1990. Biggest New Zealand wins: 1993 New Zealand Trotting Championship (G2) 1993 Anngow Motors Mazda Trot (G3) 1993 Rowe Cup (G1) (Southland owned trotters finished first, second and third in the 1993 Rowe Cup with David Moss winning, Diamond Field ran second and Night Allowance third). 1993 Dominion Handicap (G1) 1993 New Zealand National Mobile Trot (G2) 1994 New Zealand Trotting Championship (G3) 1994 Dominion Handicap (G1) in a track and New Zealand record of 4-06.6 Australia: David Moss had four starts in Australia winning three. His wins included the Australasian Trotters Championship Final and the V.L.Dullard Cup both at Moonee Valley. Awards: Southland Horse of the Year 1991 and 1993 New Zealand Trotter of the Year: 1992/1993 season and 1993/1994 season. Lifetime record: 89 starts 31 wins, nine seconds and 4 thirds for $490,275. David Moss and Maurice McKendry winning the Firestone Free For All at Addington By French sire Gekoj David Moss with his giant frame was always going to take time. David Moss was out of Hickory Pride mare Proud Countess and was bred by Captain Oddvar Andersen of Oslo who came to New Zealand in the 1960’s to supervise Scandinavian shipping. He met the Cox family while in Southland. “He was down in Bluff looking at the facilities and was with someone from Wrights Stevenson’s. He said he had horses back in Norway and he’d like to go and see a stable somewhere. The agent knew Dad. He ended up at our place and it went from there.” Cox says Andersen became Norwegian Console General in New Zealand and had always been keen on racing, particularly trotters. “He had mares and stallions and loved his racing. I haven’t been talking to him in the last 12 months. A friend of mine that lives in Norway said he’s starting to fail now but he’s in his mid-90s.” Early on Andersen brought French stallions to New Zealand including Beau Nonantais, Inter Du Pas and the sire of David Moss, Gekoj. Andersen and Harry Cox formed a common bond and Cox received a half share in David Moss. “He was broken in by Keith Norman I think and then he came to our place. He was just jogged for two or three years. He got a bit of fast work. We had him in the jog cart and tied a couple of horses on the side and another couple off him” said Cox. David Moss didn’t start racing until he was a 6-year-old. “I remember before Dad passed away. He’d had a few heart turns but always tried to get out and do the horses. He said he (David Moss) wouldn’t be much good until he was four or five as the French breed didn’t go early. He just kept pottering away with him and said ‘don’t worry about him boy, he’ll be okay one day.” And so it proved to be. Harry wasn’t around to see it but John Cox, who took over the training of the massive trotter knew he had a future star on his hands. David Moss qualified at Ascot Park as a six year old and was lightly raced in his first season, having just four starts for two wins. The following season as a seven year old he started to turn heads winning nine races including a forty one length victory at Ascot Park in September 1990 in a C2 and faster trot over 2700 metres. “Dad always said a good driver never looks back so I let him trot as he liked. It wasn’t until I was pulling up that I realized the rest weren’t there. When you set him alight you knew you had something in front of you that’s for sure,” said John Cox who drove him that day. Another impressive win that season was at Forbury Park in October. “My brother in-law Clarrie Woodward drove him that night. He was back a bit and in the last 400 he was out about five or six wide. It was just a phenomenal run. I was talking to Ray Jenkins afterwards. He said he could tell my horse was coming because he could hear the crowd starting to cheer. My horse just got up and beat Ray (The Expatriate) in the last few strides (neck).” Cox trained him for the majority of his career, winning twenty six races with him. He also had stints with Clive Herbert and Bob Mellsop who trained him to win three races including the 1993 National Trot and the 1994 New Zealand Trotting Championship. He was also with Robert Cameron for a short period and he trained him to win two races including the 1993 Dominion Handicap. “He had the speed of a pacer. I remember driving him at a trial at Ashburton getting ready for the Dominion. I was sitting three back and he came home and he was just jogged it running a quarter in 28 which you’re expect the pacers to do then. He was just a bloody good big plain horse,” said Cameron. This is race 6 from New Zealand's Addington Raceway. Here we see Maurice McKendry in the sulky behind David Moss, as they win the Dominion Trotting Handicap. The race-caller is Reon Mertha. Cox also trained him to win three from four starts in Australia including the 1994 Australasian Trotters’ Championship at Moonee Valley in Melbourne when driven by Maurice McKendry. This is race 7 above from Melbourne's Moonee Valley Paceway.Here we see Maurice McKendry in the sulky behind David Moss,as they win the Australasian Trotters Championship.The race-caller is Brian Markovic. “Maurice was three wide for a long time and just got up in the last few strides. It was a phenomenal run. Maurice said it was a great run and he could hear the Aussie drivers talking when he was going forward. He said they said ‘here he comes now’ and they just kept bumping him out one and they weren’t going anywhere.” Cox says the only thing missing on the horse’s CV is an Interdominion Finals win. “He won four heats and ran a second and a fourth. At Christchurch when he ran fourth (in the final) it was wet and he wasn’t as good in the wet as he was on the hard going.” There are plenty of great memories for the Cox family from a truly great Southern Bred Southern Reared Trotter David Moss. “It always helps to have a good horse to get you around the country, that’s for sure.” This is the story about the giant New Zealand trotter David Moss.   Bruce Stewart

Waimumu breeder Paul Pearce has been a stock agent for the last twelve years, and was a wool buyer prior to that.  But outside of work he’s always had a passion for harness racing horses and this year he’s prepared two nice colts for the National Sale in Christchurch. “When Brent (McIntyre) bought Jaccka Lodge (now Macca Lodge) I spent a lot of time up there. You just get the bug,” he said. However Paul Pearce’s connections to horses and the McIntyre family goes further back when his father managed the Southland Farmers Co-op farm which was next door to the McIntyre farm. Paul said his father Trevor raced gallopers, although without much success. He was also good friends with the late Kenny Milne from Balclutha and he went to Lincoln University with Milne’s son Johnny. Kenny Milne bred horses for many years and owned and raced New Zealand Oaks winner Young Eden. When he was young Pearson dabbled in ownership and the first horse he raced was Badland’s Hanover gelding Lets Go Frankie. He raced him in partnership with McIntyre and fellow PGG Wrightson’s stock agent Craig Milne. Lets Go Frankie won a race at Wyndham for the trio in November 2005 before he went to Australia where he won another five races. Pearce also bred from Young Jiggs a daughter of Young Eden sending her to Attorney General and the resulting colt Young Reggie had three starts for no rewards for trainer Lindsay Wilson. “We were breeding stuff we shouldn’t have been but you’ve got to start somewhere.” The trio also raced Washington VC mare Susie Blue (Washington VC – Ginny Dale) which they leased off Bill Keeler. She won three races before heading to Aussie. “Mandy and I got married young, we had our children young and we couldn’t afford horses. But I followed Brent’s horses like Bonnies Lass and Just Jazzan.” Paul and Mandy now farm 35 acres at Waimumu in Eastern Southland close to where Ken McRae trained horses for a good number of years, and just down the road from the site of the Waimumu Field Days. “Mandy plays a big part in the hands on stuff with the horses. When they come back from Macca Lodge as weanlings we do as much work as possible. We box them every night over winter just to get that one on one handling of them. When they’re small they’re easy to do things with. A lot of people leave it until spring to get the yearlings in. I have no problems taking them up to Macca Lodge in the float during the day to get their feet trimmed and getting them to just stand there.” Mandy is a school teacher at St Peters College in Gore but as her love for horses has grown she’s become more involved. “Mandy actually took a year off teaching and did the foaling night shift at Macca Lodge this season. I’m really lucky she likes her horses because many (partners) don’t especially when the bills start coming in.” But it’s not the first time the Pearces have taken stock to the sales. Paul bred and prepared Cozin Change (Changeover – Corzanello) for the 2016 Sale of the Stars after borrowing Corzanello off Jill Smolenski. Cozin Change was a half-brother to big Australian winner I’m Corzin Terror. His wins included the 2014 Ballarat Pacing Cup. Cozin Change was passed in on a reserve of $25,000 and he went to Australia where he won two races in a short career. The couple now own three broodmares Tipsy Too, Luminesce and Elegant As and the two colts they’re presenting at the sales are by Bettor’s Delight out of Luminesce and Art Major out of Tipsy Too. The Bettor’s Delight colt out of Luminesce – Photo supplied. The Art Major colt out of Tipsy Too – Photo supplied Tipsy Too is out of the In The Pocket mare Dontdrinkthendrive and is part of the Party Party family. She was bought at the Auckland Sales for $21,000. “We didn’t race her. She just needed a bit of time. At that point things weren’t looking that good in the racing world so we decided to breed from her. I was at Diamonds Day talking to Hazel van Opzeeland and she talked to me about going to Sweet Lou at Woodlands Stud, and that’s who we sent the mare too.” The resulting foal is Renegade Rose. Luminesce was purchased in 2012 after they’d started to think seriously about buying some quality stock. “We (had to) decide whether we were going to be in or out. It was in and we thought we’d give it a decent go and buy a good broodmare.” So after months of study Paul headed to the Christchurch Sale with Brent McIntyre. They had a number of fillies marked to view and possibly bid on, but the Mach Three filly Luminesce who was out of class mare One Dream, initially wasn’t one of them. “We had no intentions of buying her. Of course we saw her in the catalogue. Mac and I looked at a few others. Jill (breeder Jill Smolenski) had no photos on the website and the horse wasn’t at the parade. So on the day of the Sales I said to Mac that we’d better go and have a look at this filly out of One Dream. We walked round the corner and thought ‘shit.’ I couldn’t stop thinking about her.” On pedigree alone Pearce thought Luminesce would go for in excess of $50,000 and that was making him nervous so as any good man does, he rang Mandy to get final sign off on the budget. “I could ring her 100 times and never get hold of her. But I got hold of her this day and said I’d found a horse I really want to buy but it was going to be out of our league. I was hoping she would say no but she said she’d just go with what I said.” When Lot 123 entered the ring the nerves were starting to ramp up. “There was really only me and another person bidding on her. It was the most nerve racking thing I’ve even done in my life. I remember standing against some trellising and my heart was going and the trellising stopped it from jumping out.” Pearce was ultimately the last man standing and Luminesce was theirs for $45,000. She was broken in by Brent McIntyre and entrusted to Ascot Park trainer Wayne Adams. Paul’s father Trevor when to school with Adams, and they liked the way he turned his horses out. “She qualified by a second and there was nothing flash in that. We talked about whether we should turn her out and bring her back as a three year old. But Wayne said the speed was there so he worked her harder in the next week. She went to the Workouts and bolted in so we went to Forbury for a heat of the Sires Stakes which she won.” She beat Raksdeal by a neck running the 1700 metres in 2-04.6 – it’s still a track record. At the end of her first season she raced in the 2013 Two Year Old Diamond at the Harness Jewels finishing eleventh behind winner Venus Serena. As a three year old Luminesce won her first two starts before running a fifth and a third. She was then taken north to Addington. “We went to Christchurch for the Sales Series race and she got a virus. We thought she was going to die that night, it took her quite a while to get over that and she only had five starts as a three year old.” She came back at four and only had another four starts. “She ran on Invitation Drivers Day at Ascot Park and Kerryn Manning who drove her said she was a bit knobby in her prelim. In her next two starts she went terrible but we didn’t realise she’d split a bone in her knee.” Luminesce warming up at Ascot Park with Kerryn Manning – Photo Bruce Stewart Consequently Luminesce was retired and sent to Art Major. She lost that foal after he was born premature and only lasted a few days. Her second foal, a filly by Bettor’s Delight got to the stage of being weaned but developed septicemia and also died. So the Bettor’s Delight sales colt is actually her first foal beyond weaning. The Pearce’s also own six year old Rocknroll Hanover mare Elegant As which is out of Tuapeka Maddy. She was purchased from Dan Cummings at Tuapeka Lodge. Her first foal is an Art Major filly. Not one to stand still, Paul was also at the Christchurch Sale last year and bought another filly – Millwood Kelly (Bettor’s Delight – Idolise) for $27,500. Idolise is by American Ideal and won one race from thirteen starts. She’s a half-sister to Idealindiamonds (8 New Zealand wins and 5 Australian wins), Am Opulent (18 wins) and Dibaba (7 wins including the Sires Stakes Northern Mares Classic, Premier Mares Championship and Southland Oaks). Idolise is out of the Life Sign mare Imprint, was bred by Aidan Johnstone and is owned by Katie Carville. “When I bought Luminesce the one I had my eye on was a horse called Idolise which is Millwood Kelly’s mother but it was withdrawn.” They also have two horses in work with Gore trainer Tony Stratford – Renegade Rose and Braeview Kelly (formally Millwood Kelly). “We actually entered her (Renegade Rose) for the Sales and she didn’t make it. I was told it was because it was by a first season sire from an unproven family.” Paul still gives Bloodstock Agent Peter Lagan plenty of stick about that decision. Renegade Rose From just seven starts this season Renegade Rose has won once, run second twice and third four times. Her placings have been behind quality fillies Stylish Memphis, Sugar Loaf and Plutonium Lady. “She’s a big filly but she’s always been in proportion.” Paul and Mandy Pearce are a fine example of a couple with a shared passion, using resilience and optimism to make their way in the harness world. Bruce Stewart

The win by Heisenberg in yesterdays re-run of the Central Otago Cup has led to a very generous donation by the horse’s connections, owners Ross and Angela Gordon, trainer Robert Dunn and the horse’s regular driver John Dunn. The race was originally run at Omakau but had to be abandoned when champion driver Ricky May suffered a major medical incident and was flown to Dunedin Hospital in a critical condition. The Group Three feature race was re-run yesterday at the Young Quinn Raceway at Wyndham and was won by Heisenberg in a very quick time. Robert Dunn explained that after the race Ross Gordon rang him and said he and Angela wanted to express their appreciation for the care Ricky May received on the 2nd January at Omakau. “Ross, Angela, Johnny and I decided to donate four and a half thousand dollars of the Cup winnings to charity.  $1,500 to the helicopter trust fund for picking up Ricky, $1,500 to St John who were great on the day and $1,500 to Team Teals Ellie Barron (who performed mouth the mouth on May). Ross wanted to do that and I said to him that Johnny and I would come on board as well.” Driver John Dunn was trailing May in the race at Omakau and saw the incident unfold. He managed to pull his horse back and warn trailing drivers. John Dunn wasn’t on hand yesterday when Heisenberg won. The horse was driven by stand-in driver Tim Williams who took the talented pacer to the front and held out a game Nandolo by half a neck. “Yep he’s much better in front with the pace on. He will learn to use the speed he’s got in other ways but he’s one of those horses that likes getting into his own rhythm. He used to be a devil of a horse to run in and out and it made it difficult for Johnny to drive. He’s far better when he concentrates so that’s why we’ve got the hood on him. He runs a lot straighter with that on but the only thing is it sets you up for horses that swoop off your back,” said Robert Dunn. The winning time of 2-52.4 for the 2400 metre mobile was a new track, Southland and New Zealand record. “He’s racing more genuinely this year. We possibly gelded him later than we should have. He was always a horse with potential, but he was green.” Yesterday’s win was the horse’s sixth. Dunn said Heisenberg is likely to join his Auckland base at some point later in the season and this time should be better the Auckland way round. “He struggles a bit in Auckland. He tended to get in a little too much on the turns. But it was just because of his racing manners early on. I’m sure when we bring him up for the Taylor Mile and the New Zealand Messenger he’ll be much better.” The Art Major gelding was bought at the 2017 Auckland Sales by Gorton and Dunn – then named Viva La Vida. “Ross changes all of his horses names. He’s generally got a reason. We both loved the horse on type, he looked racy and we thought he might make a young horse. Ross has a good eye for horses which he’s developed. He actually comes from a horse family. His mother and father Don and Carol were one of the very first preparers at the yearling sales. They prepared yearlings for I reckon a half a century. On his mother’s side is champion horseman Felix Newfield and also Kevin Chapman.” Ross and Angela own Telfer Electrical and have three branches in Christchurch and outlets in Nelson, Cromwell, Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill. “They bought the company just over twenty years ago when it was small and they’ve turned it into a very successful business.” The Gordons have been very good clients for Robert Dunn over many years. They’ve owned and raced The Fed Express (5 New Zealand wins – bred by Ross’s parents Don and Carol), Code Black (2 New Zealand wins and 17 Australian wins), Robbie Burns (10 New Zealand wins and 1-49 USA) and Henry Hubert (7 wins). “I’ve had their horses for years and we’re still waiting to get our first Group One winner. The one we thought was going to be the bees knees was a horse called Say My Name (6 wins from just 18 starts). He’s was exceptionally talented but had ongoing bone issues.” The Gordons also own up and coming Above N Beyond. “He’ll be aimed at the Derbies. We think he could be a real player in the three and four year old races. He’s a horse with a lot of upside.” And as the Yearling Sales approach Gordon and Dunn will be having a close look at the full brother to Heisenberg who’s in the ring early on 17th February at the Auckland Sales. “He’ll be on our list.” Bred by Chris and Tina Barlow of Highfield Bloodstock and named Crusader, you’d have to say this may be one horse if Ross and Robert buy him that may not get a name change considering they’re all Cantabrians   Bruce Stewart

Nathan Williamson’s race strategy worked out well yesterday in the House Of Travel Lakers Summer Cup. Driving Franco Santino and drawing the outside of the front line he knew he had the gate speed to cross all of the inside runners and that’s what he did. “I was quite keen to leave the gate but I had to work a lot harder than I thought to cross, so I elected to trail Bettathanfast which was good. He’s a rolling horse that was never going to hand up. He was a good target to follow,” he said. Bettathanfast took Franco Santino to the passing lane and the two horses fought out a sterling finish, Franco Santino winning by a head. “He was travelling that good turning for home but I struggled to get him to the inside. He flattened out when he got there. They ripped home in 27.” The overall winning time was 2-43.7. It’s the second time Williamson has won the Summer Cup, also winning with Costa Del Magnifico in 2017. Owned by Neville Cleaver, Franco Santino has now won eight races. His racing has been restricted each season to a limited number of starts, as the stable  waited for him to mature. “He still needs probably another six months to develop. His hind quarters aren’t real strong yet. He’s racing really well so you can’t knock him too much.” The rescheduled Omakau Cup at Wyndham and the Invercargill Cup the week after are two of his immediate targets. “The Northern Southland Cup is also coming up so there’s plenty for him”   Bruce Stewart

In this series sponsored by Southern Bred Southern Reared, Bruce Stewart looks back on some of the great harness racing stock that’s come out of the Southern region. Whilst last year he profiled horses from the south that have become millionaires, this series is about other pacers and trotters that that were bred, reared and raced for part of career in Southland, and made an impact in the Harness Racing industry. Robin Dundee Age: 1957 bay mare Sire: Hal Tryax Dam: Cherry Blossom (Dillion Hall) Breeder: JW Hewitt Owner: JW Hewitt Trainer: Jack Walsh At just 14.2 hands Robin Dundee was a diminutive bay filly and was Southland owner/breeder Jack Hewitt’s first venture into harness racing. He borrowed Dillon Hall mare Cherry Blossom from his brother-in-law and mated her with the imported American sire Hal Tryax. Hal Tryax stood at stud in NZ for 8 seasons before becoming infertile in 1963 at the age of 16. Robin Dundee’s early education and training was entrusted to Jack Walsh who’d also raced and won with Fashion Queen. She is the third dam of Robin Dundee. Unraced at two, Robin Dundee began her racing career at Invercargill in October 1961, winning the Southern Stakes for non-win three year olds by sixteen lengths. She was driven by Charlie Franks who also drove her to victory in the 1961 New Zealand Oaks at New Brighton. Later that season she won at Roxburgh in the hands of Robert Cameron. Interestingly both Robin Dundee and Cardigan Bay won at that Roxburgh meeting in 1961. Cardigan Bay by four and a half lengths in the Roxburgh Handicap, and Robin Dundee in the Central Otago Stakes by a length and a half. The TAB double paid forty two pounds, eight shillings and six pence. As a four-year-old Robin Dundee recorded two wins, five seconds, a third and fourth from twenty one starts. She won two of her twenty four starts as a five year old, recording six seconds, a third and fourth. At six she won two races and had her first start in the New Zealand Cup finishing second behind the great Cardigan Bay. In her final New Zealand start at Addington, in the hands of Doody Townley she started off 12 yards to beat Tactile, Jay Ar and Cardigan Bay. In the 1964 Interdominion Grand Final Robin Dundee finished a gallant fifth, breaking down during the race and subsequent x-rays revealed a fractured pedal bone and crack in the navicular bone of her near foreleg. There were grave fears that Robin Dundee would never race again and she returned home to the Southland.  However she made a spectacular recovery from the injury to race 12 times in New Zealand during the 1964/65 season recording five wins, four seconds and a third. As a seven year old she was involved in the controversial dead heat with Jay Ar in the 1965 Inter Dominion Grand Final at Forbury Park where she stormed down the outside in the hands of Doody Townley. The judge announced Jay Ar as the winner and called for a photo shortly after. Club officials ignored Townley’s insistence that the presentation was premature. Jay Ar’s driver George Noble also thought he may have been pipped at the post. However the presentation went ahead and Jay Ar was decorated while a dejected Walsh took Robin Dundee back to the stables. Well into the presentation an announcement was made over the PA to the 15,000 crowd declaring a dead heat.  Officials hastily recalled Robin Dundee to the presentation, transferred the sash to the mare and both horses did a victory lap together. Jack Hewitt, Mrs Hewitt and Roy McKenzie with the Interdominion trophies they had to share As an eight year old, there was no stopping Robin Dundee. She raced 25 times in New Zealand during 1965-1966 season for eight wins, nine seconds, and one third for 14,855 pounds, making her New Zealand’s leading stakes earner for that season. As a nine year old she started in New Zealand nine times for two wins, one second and one third. She was then leased to an American syndicate which included famous New York trainer Eddie Cobb. She arrived in America with a New Zealand career record of 25 wins, 32 seconds and 10 thirds and New Zealand stakes earnings of $79,248. Her first American target was the 1967 International Series at Yonkers but she contracted a virus on the eve of the series, finished fifth and was then withdrawn. In January 1968 Robin Dundee went under the knife again to remove bothersome splint bones. The operation was successful and she was put back into light work. As an 11 year old she won her first race at Roosevelt Raceway, finishing the season with 5 wins, 8 seconds and 6 thirds for earnings $59,275 from 35 starts. As a twelve year old she raced 5 times for only one third and was retired after finishing last in May 1969. Her lifetime earnings were $292,272. Robin Dundee will be remembered as the first pacer to beat the two-minute mark in a race when she won the Craven Filer Miracle Mile at Harold Park in 1967 in a time of 1-59.0. “You can’t forget the Miracle Mile because she was the first mare in Australasia to break two minutes,” said driver Robert Cameron. Cameron ended up winning eight races in New Zealand driving Robin Dundee, so he knew her pretty well. “She got a bit crabby at times like a lot of those good fillies. But she was a terrific mare that would never stop trying. You had to be a bit careful from a stand because if you touched her mouth she was inclined to lose it. She got better as the years went on.” Robin Dundee also carried a bridesmaids tag throughout her career. She ran second in the 1966 Inter Dominion Grand Final at Harold Park to Chamfer’s Star, was runner up three times to Cardigan Bay, Garry Dillon and Lordship in the New Zealand Cup, and in Freehold New Jersey in 1968 she chased Cardigan Bay home when he became the first pacer to win a million dollars. Robin Dundee’s record New Zealand: At Three (1960-1961): 15-4-4-1 At Four (1961-1962): 21-2-5-3 At Five (1962-1963): 24-2-6-1 At Six (1963-1964): 13-2-3-2 At Seven (1964-1965): 12-5-4-1 At Eight (1965-1966): 25-8-8-1 At Nine (1966-1967): 9-2-1-1 New Zealand Total: 119-25-31-10 First New Zealand win: Southern Stakes at Ascot Park Invercargill Saturday 29th October 1960 Driven by Charlie Franks. Winning margin sixteen and a half lengths. Last New Zealand win: Saturday 19th November 1966 – Olliver Handicap at Addington when she beat Lordship off 54 year handicap – Driven by Robert Cameron. Notable New Zealand wins: Interdominion Final, dead heating with Jay Ar at Forbury Park. 1960 New Zealand Oaks Flying Mile at Addington running 1-59. Alan Matson Stakes 1965 Hannon Memorial 1965 New Zealand Free For All 1965 Auckland Cup Olliver Handicap GJ Barton Memorial at Forbury Park Successful drivers of Robin Dundee in New Zealand: Robert Cameron 8, Maurice Holmes 8, Doody Townley 5, Charlie Franks 2, Bob Young 1 and Kevin Murray 1 Other known facts: She won $229,270 in stakes by racing in New Zealand, Australia and America. Was the first horse to better two minutes in a race in Australia. Won 1967 Miracle Mile pacing the journey in 1-59. The winning stake was $12,500. Was runner up three times in the New Zealand Trotting Cup (Cardigan Bay 1963), (Garry Dillion 1965) and (Lordship 1966). Ran four times in the Interdominion Final. As a broodmare Robin Dundee had a lot of bad luck. Her best race horse was Genghis Khan which paced 1-51.8 in America. She also left Dundee Adios which stood at Roddy McFarlane’s stud near Winton. Truly one of the great race mares to represent Southland across three countries.   Bruce Stewart

The Cardrona Distillery/MLT Three Year Old Harness Racing Stakes at Gore last Friday was the most talked about race of the day.  The field, albeit small in numbers, was packed with possibilities and proved to be an early indication of how exciting the Southern Supremacy Stakes could be later in the season. From a wide draw Matty Williamson used plenty of gas early with second favourite Spirit Of St Louis and out of the first bend he was in front with favourite Minstrel and Ricky May dropping in to trail. “I used him up a bit early. I would have been quite keen to stay in front but it was just the way it worked out,” said May referring to the early rush. Spirit Of St Louis stayed in front and sprinted hard with 400 metres to run. But Minstrel proved too powerful at the finish getting up to beat a gallant Spirit Of St Louis by three quarters of a length. “He does give me the feel of being a good horse. He’s only going to get better because it’s only his fourth start today,” May said in summarising his drive on Minstrel. The three year old gelding by Rocknroll Hanover is trained at Woodend Beach by David and Catherine Butt. The winning time was 2-45.7 with the last 800 metres run in 56.1 and the 400 metres in 26.6 which was outstanding considering the rain and hail which was falling at the time. It was Minstrel’s second win in the province and he’s now fully qualified for the Supremacy Final in April which the Butts won with Ohoka Texas in 2011. Minstrel has been staying with local trainer Brett Gray at Ryal Bush for the last two weeks and impressively won his previous start at Winton seven days ago. “It was a better field today than last time. Brett thought he’d improved a bit. I think he might be right.” Of the beaten brigade Spirit Of St Louis, after leading in trying conditions, was very brave when running second and the run by Pembrook Playboy for third just two lengths from the winner would encourage his connections to look at travelling north for some the bigger three year old races in Canterbury. By Bruce Stewart  

It was a training feat for Alister Black yesterday when Vintage Cheddar won a Country Cups Series race at his first start since the beginning of June. All credit must go to the conditioning skills of Black and his team of helpers, who were all on course when the son of Betterthancheddar just got up to beat Franco Santino in yesterday’s Wairio Cup. Black had given Vintage Cheddar two workouts, running fourth in the first, before winning his second against moderate opposite. The judge’s call seemed to take an eternity but the cheers of delight from in front of the north stand said it all. Black, who has an excellent UDR rating, had three runners in the Cup and the win by Vintage Cheddar didn’t surprise him. “No. He won fresh up last year. He trialed up nice at his last workout and trained well this week. He was pretty ready for today’s assignment,” he said. Franco Santino was very brave, sitting parked (which is not really his forte) and just getting nabbed by a nose. He too was in a fresh state. Vintage Cheddar’s driver Blair Orange wasn’t sure whether he’d won but close to the line you can see him having great delight in telling Nathan Williamson  he thought he had. The winning time of 2-56.8 was a new race record. The previous race record of 2-57.2 was recorded by Jamie in 2006. The time was also a new track and Southland record for four year old and older entires or geldings. Black said the five year old will have his next start in the Omakau Cup at the Central Otago Meeting on the 2nd January. “The long term goal this season is the Easter Cup. That’s why I didn’t worry too much about the New Zealand Cup meeting this year. The next Cup meeting will be right up his alley whether it’s in the Junior Free For All or the actual Cup. Vintage Cheddar is owned by Lindsay and Ian Thomson who have now provided Black with 53 of his 66 winners. Black trains from a property the brothers own. Vintage Cheddar with Sheree Black, Alister Black, Lindsay Thomson, Riley Black , Ian Thomson, Shirley Leckie and Tony Leckie                – Photo Bruce Stewart. Lindsay and Ian bred Vintage Cheddar from their Grinfromeartoear mare Howfarnow which is out of the ten win mare Whanau. “He’s just an awesome horse to have around. He was a bit of a hard thing when he was a young horse but plenty of repetition and hard work and he’s come right.”   Bruce Stewart

Nathan Williamson notched up another harness racing milestone when Allaboutjoy, which he trains for Malcolm and Sarndra Little, won the Macca Lodge Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace. It was the reinsman’s 800th driving win. The Bettor’s Delight mare has been a model of consistency this season and made the most of a good barrier draw to trail leader Ricotta. In the straight she battled hard to get past Ricotta, winning by a head. Williamson didn’t have much luck in the next race with hot favourite Chinese Whisper. The horse broke, lost a stack of ground early and was unable to make it up, finishing a creditable sixth just eleven lengths from the winner. The race was won by Humble Ladd trained by Nathan’s father Phil and driven by junior driver Kerryn Tomlinson. Everyone was asking when the last time was that a Phil Williamson horse,  having won its last start, won at the odds of sixty to one. Tomlinson won later in the programme when driving the Hamish Hunter trained Stingray Tara which sat parked and was too strong for favourite Slate. Slate set a lightning pace and the winning time was 1-53.9 for the 1609 metres. Stingray Tara (7) getting up to beat Slate (4) and Paduka (10)      -- Photo Bruce Stewart Tomlinson then paired up with class trotter Cracker Hill to win the Gold Chip Final. The Muscle Hill three year old trotted the 2400 metres in 3-03.1 – a new track and Southland record. The previous record of 3-04.2 was jointly held by One Apollo and Sky Commander. The winning margin was ten and a half lengths. Fourth season trainer Chelsea Faithful turned the fortunes round of an out of form Dangerous, in the Willy’s Flooring Limited Mobile Pace. Dangerous has been under the care of Faithful for ten days but still raced in the colours of regular trainer Tracey McGrannachan Dangerous out on her own                 – Photo Bruce Stewart The Shadow Play entire which is owned by McGrannachan and Doug McLeish was driven by Nathan Williamson whom Faithful works for. Maidonthebeach the winner of seven races, appreciated the drop back in class when she led and was too tough for trailing horse Tartan Trilogy. The finish was an all Williamson affair with Matty driving Maidonthebeach and Nathan reining Tartan Trilogy. The winning margin was a neck.   Bruce Stewart

Talented pacer Paddyproudfoot has been sidelined with a leg injury. The Washington VC five year old won fresh up this season in the Riverton Cup before heading to Addington and finishing with a creditable four on Show Day. However he hasn’t been spotted since. Co-trainer Kirstin Barclay said after the leg injury was discovered they took him to  Dunedin vet Peter Gillespie and the results of the scans taken should be completely known in two weeks. “He had a hair line fracture last season so when his leg blew up this time that was my initial fears that he’d done it again. But it’s looking like he’s just banged it badly.  Peter was positive that was what it was,” she said. Barclay said Paddyproudfoot lets you know when something isn’t right. “He’s a real drama queen. One day here he pulled a shoe in the stalls and he just stood there with his foot out. Every time someone walked past he put his foot out. It doesn’t take much for Paddy to think he’s broken.” He’s had only twelve lifetime starts over three seasons of racing, winning five times and running second four times for owners Peter and Julie Duffy and Brian and Rosemary Duggan. Meanwhile star pacer U May Cullect is on the active list after stem cell treatment. “He’s got a long programme ahead of him ….  He’s up to twenty minutes of walking now and it goes up by five minutes a week, then he gets into a bit of trotting.  Basically ten days after the treatment I can’t believe how good the leg looked. He’s boxed all the time. It’s a nine month programme and at the end he’s back jogging for forty five minutes. He’s such an athletic horse that after nine months of work and a couple of canters he’ll be underway,” Barclay said. The five year old was side-lined prior to this year’s Hannon Memorial which was going to be his first real test against the open grade horses. Barclay says U May Cullect is not a horse to remain idle and is enjoying some activity, albeit with light duties. “He’s a horse that loves being in work so he’s happy with what he’s doing now.   Bruce Stewart

First season trainer Jessie Alford has a bit on. He and partner Josie Reid are expecting their first child next month, he’s training the only horse in his stable Held To Ransom, and is starting a new job with Woodend Beach trainer Matt Purvis. Things are just busy enough. Alford freely admits he gets nervous when Held To Ransom starts at the races but he need not have worried today at Ascot Park, because the Live Or Die mare won easily in the hands of Brad Williamson. Williamson got the five year old mare in the one one early with Bella Sara making the pace. Held To Ransom was travelling nicely throughout and once balanced up in the home straight she went down to the finishing line to easily win by a length and a half from Folklore. The win was the mare’s third in a row. “I’ve only had her for about six weeks. She needs the beach. She was probably going to go back to Regan Todd’s. I asked if I could buy her. She’s a family horse who just swims instead of jogging, she just loves the beach,” said Alford after the win. Alford hadn’t had any background in harness racing until former Southland trainer/driver,  but Jonny Cox got him involved. “Coxey got me into it. I was helping him out a few years ago and we became friends. I got sick of my office job (selling survey and building equipment) so I thought stuff it, I’ll do something I like. I took a bit of a pay cut and worked for Michael House and Andrew Stuart, whose been really good to me, and I’m about to go to the beach and work for Matt.” Held To Ransom was previously trained by Stuart who managed to get a number of placings out of the mare, but missed out on that elusive win. Alford also holds a junior driver’s license but after driving Held To Ransom a number of times he says he now prefers to hand the reins to other drivers. “For some reason I just don’t drive her that well so I just let other people do it. I’d like to keep her but I’ve got a baby girl on the way in late January. This will help get her a few extra treats which is good.” Brad Williamson with Jessie Alford and Held To Ransom              -photo by Bruce Stewart The win capped off a stellar day for Brad Williamson who won three  of the races  on the ten race card. Brother Nathan also won a race, driving Revitalise for good stable client Neville Cleaver who bought the diminutive Bettors Delight gelding at the sales for $15,000. He received a nice trail and was too good, beating Glenledi Captain by two and half lengths.   Bruce Stewart

Pembrook Playboy was in the zone today at Ascot Park and proved he was our best three year old at this stage of the Southland season. “Those small fields are always (tactical) and there were a few horses in the race that had chances. “I had two choices. To go round and sit parked or too press on. If I pressed on that would leave See Ya Write parked again. That’s what I did and it couldn’t have worked out better. I’m thrilled that I was able to use him twice. He showed a lot of speed with a lap to go and he still had a kick at the finish,” said trainer driver Nathan Williamson. Williamson decided to target today’s $15,000.00 Southland Express Nugget Final rather than going north. “We sacrificed not going to the South of the Waitaki race at Addington to stay at home for this race.” One of the races Williamson has on his radar for Pembrook Playboy is the $14,000 Cardrona Distillery/MLT Three Year Old Stakes at Gore at Christmas time. “After that I’m not too sure as he’s getting pretty highly rated. We might just take him to Canterbury later on.” Pembrook Playboy is by Bettor’s Delight out of the three win Christian Cullen mare Dudinka’s Star and is owned by Chris Alcock. He was bought at the Sale of the Stars for $28,000. Winning owner Chris Alcock with daughter Justine                             --Bruce Stewart photo Ownership of good horses is not new to Alcock. His first horse was Majestic Chance gelding Black Stump which won four races. He also won the 1978 Kurow Cup but was ultimately disqualified. “We protested but there was no video footage because the fellow didn’t turn up that day,” Alcock said. He also had a share in another son of Majestic Chance, Crow Bar which won nine races. “He won on three of the days when the Cup Meeting was run over four days. On the other day he walked home (was pulled up).” Alcock also had shares in Dynamite a full-brother to Crow Bar which won once. He part-owns Canterbury trotter Izmok as well as recent Wyndham winner King Of Heroes and is in the Tri-Code Syndicate which races Please Shuddup.   Bruce Stewart

Wyndham committee man Ian Hunter has spent the past decade developing his trotting breed. And the win by the highly talented Andy Hall which won on debut at the Young Quinn Raceway today highlights the breed’s continuing success. Hunter has bred a host of winners from Andy Hall’s dam Delcola, (herself the winner of six races) which include Splash Cola (9), Delestic (3) and Delson (3 wins from 8 starts). Andy Hall was made favourite in today’s race on the back of some impressive workout wins. From barrier one he began slowly but safely for trainer driver Nathan Williamson. “The only way I thought he could make a mistake was if I tried to rush him at the start,” he said. After racing back for the first part Williamson was able to get a good drag into the race when Susies Way started to move up in the outside running line with 1000 metres to run. At the 600 Williamson moved the giant trotter out three wide and progressed forward. At the top of the straight Andy Hall was on equal terms with Susies Way but proved too strong at the finish, winning by two and a quarter lengths. “He showed good manners, trotted well and finished the race off so I couldn’t have been happier. He’s got a nice way of trotting and generally he’s quite solid that way.” Williamson has had the Andover Hall gelding since he was a young horse and he says at times he’s been a bit of a handful but the talent has always been there. “He was broken in and had a prep as a young horse, then he had preparations at two and three. He’s just kept on growing. He’s been in and out of the stable so he’s been well schooled. That’s probably where he gets his good manners from.” Williamson says he’ll back off the horse a bit now and he probably won’t be seen at the races for at least another four weeks. “I’ll keep him on the big tracks for now. He’s promising, and looks like a horse with a bit of a future.” In the second trot of the afternoon Williamson, driving the favourite and last start winner Sekkie Monkey, had to settle for second. After sitting parked for the entire journey she couldn’t quite get to pacemaker Whatwillbeewillbee driven astutely by Jonny Cox. The winning margin was a nose. Cox had won earlier in the day on Held To Ransom, providing young trainer Jesse Alford with his first winner. Alford was unable to drive the mare as he was suspended at last weekend’s Wyndham meeting for careless driving. Cox salutes – First winner for trainer Jesse Alford – Photo Bruce Stewart Meanwhile the first season training partnership of Ross and Chris Wilson scored back to back wins when Swift Robyn won her second race and Bridesdale Robyn won her sixth race in a heat of the Southern Belle Speed Series. At the 600 metres driver Craig Ferguson launched Swift Robyn forward in a lightning move. She was three wide and challenging just before straightening for the run in and came down the middle of the track bravely holding on to beat Bettors Atom by a length and a quarter. Bridesdale Robyn was the winner in Race Four. Ferguson blasted her off the gate from the wide draw and got to the top after a short battle with Team Kiwi. Bridesdale Robyn (7) winning her Southern Belle heat    – Photo Bruce Stewart From that point the Christian Cullen mare ran her rivals along at speed. Heading up the straight, Bridesdale Robyn and Team Kiwi had a good old battle with the Wilson trained mare getting there by a head. The 1609 metres was run in 1-55.5.   Bruce Stewart

The new training partnership of Mark Jones and Benny Hill won it’s first two races at the Wyndham Harness Racing Club’s meeting today. Three year old Art Major colt Silent Major got the partnership on the board when he sat parked, then led and held on to beat Cassius Bromac. The winning margin was half a neck. “He’s pretty green and lazy but he’s a nice little three year old. He’s got good manners but he hasn’t done bugger all,” said driver Ricky May. It was just only Silent Major’s fourth start. He ran second on debut at Timaru, then he galloped at his next start at Addington. “He drew the outside of the gate. I was pulling him back and he stuck his head down and galloped so we just wrote that one off.” Silent Major is a half-brother to useful types in Back In Black, Hestia Franco and Heretic Franco. Stylish Memphis proved her class when at her first start as a three year, she took full advantage of a trail to sprint home to win the Kubala Seeds Stella Frost Stakes for fillies and mares. From a wide draw driver Ricky May took her forward to lead before handing up to Pearl Harbour. “I could have stayed in front but I thought it was probably the right thing to do first up. She probably needed the run today,” May said. May took the passing lane and held on to beat Total Diva. “I got a bit lucky, Becky’s one galloped (Might Be Me).” Might Be Me looked to be making the winning run down the middle of the track but galloped 30 metres before the finish line. “She hit the line and pulled up. She did it at the trials the other day but Bettor’s Delights are like that. The others were right on the outside of the track so she probably didn’t see them. That was the only thing she did wrong today.” In the presentation May said Stylish Memphis is likely to head to Auckland to try some of the bigger three year old fillies races. “She’s a pretty nice horse and we haven’t seen the best of her. This was only her fourth start at the races and she ran fifth at the Harness Jewels so she’s not too far away.” Stylish Memphis holds out Total Diva  with a galloping Might Be Me and Allan Beck (white cap) three out – Photo Bruce Stewart. May says the Jones and Hill partnership is working around 65 horses between them and is enthused with the new training regime. “They’re trying something different. They want to be competitive with the Purdons and the Dunns. With more owners it gives them more buying power to go to the Sales. It’s a big move and Benny was pretty nervous about it. He and Mark have been pretty good cobbers for a few years. The game needs things like this. I was with Benny at Addington when the news first came out and three or four of Mark Jones owners came up to him and said the move is going to be great. Benny’s owners are thinking the same I think.” Portabella trainer Steve Ashton has trained a few horses over the years with the prefix Sunnivue, and the latest, Sunnivue Phileah, won today at Wyndham. Other Sunnivue winners for Ashton have been Sunnivue Impulse (6), Sunnivue Ted (9) and Sunnivue Caesar (4). Tiger Moth provided Ashburton trainer Graham Bond with his first winner since Superfecta won for him in May 2017. Tiger Moth and Nathan Williamson winning – Photo Bruce Stewart Bond has trained 76 winners – most of which were from his Southland base at Drummond in the 1980s and ’90s. Abby May provided Milton trainer Lyndon Durham with his eighth winner today. He’s been training off and on since 2001 – his first winner was Chance A Knight at Gore. Abby May was having only  her thirteenth start today and was driven by Wyndham reinsman Craig Ferguson who also drove Sunnivue Phileah for the win.   Bruce Stewart

Oamaru reinsman Matty Williamson drove his 800th winner at Gore today. “I had a look a fortnight ago and then Charlotte (partner Charlotte Purvis) said I was on 799. The goal is to beat Nathan (brother) to 1000 so I’ve got him in a bit of bother now, as long as I don’t get injured – touch wood,” Williamson said after driving favourite Stingray Tara for Ryal Bush trainer Hamish Hunter to win. Williamson said his career highlights so far are winning three Group One races on Leighton Hest, Pembrooks Delight and Luisanabelle Midfrew. “Leighton Hest was my first which was massive, Pembrooks Delight my first pacing win for the Knights who were big supporters of me when I started, and Luisanabelle Midfrew for Nigel McGrath. Hopefully there’s another Group One horse coming along.” Williamson said representing New Zealand in the World Drivers Championship in Sweden was another highlight. “Yeah the trip of a lifetime. I was really lucky. I loved all the people I met. The trainers were great to drive for just like they are here.” Stingray Tara lead from Gate Two and dictated all the terms to hold out an improved Ronnie Pickering by three quarters of a length. “He’s gone super. The horse felt good. He’s quite lazy but when I asked him at the top of the straight he really dropped his bum and went. I’m thinking the grade rise shouldn’t be too hard for him.” In the last few seasons Williamson has driven the majority of Hunter’s horses,  as the veteran driver takes a step back from raceday driving. “Hamish is great to drive for. There is never any pressure. Even when I drive a bad race, I say sorry, and he says good as gold.” Stingray Tara returning after winning                                       --Bruce Stewart photo Matty’s brothers Nathan and Brad are expected to reach their own milestones this season. As a driver Brad is three wins away from 300 while older brother Nathan has fifteen winners to drive before he gets to 800.   Bruce Stewart

Burnham trainer Mark Jones has always been a fan of Southern Harness racing. He loves to head south to set up his three year olds for both the Southern Supremacy Stakes and the Southland Oaks later in the season. In consecutive races at Gore today he produced a couple of three year olds that look capable of featuring in both those finals at Ascot Park in April. Plutonium Lady easily won the $15,000 Ladyship Final beating hot favourite Need You Now by six lengths after leading and clearing out at the top of the straight. The winning time of 2-43.2 was impressive, in the cold easterly conditions. “She’s still got a lot to learn but a typical Bettor’s on race day when she becomes a racehorse,” Jones said. Plutonium Lady had won two races ago at Winton and is now the early season leader on the Southland Oaks leader board. “She might have one more go at the Sires Stakes Heat at Addington. We won’t take her to Auckland. We’ll just target the filly’s races down here and she may go to the New South Wales Oaks in February. Late in the season will be the Nevele R and New Zealand Oaks and the Southland Oaks. She’ll be a better filly later on so if we look after her now it’ll work out good.” Plutonium Lady is owned by Sir Loins Limited and Starmark Limited which consist of Grant Hatton, Michael Jones and Jim Haines. “It looks as though we picked the right one out at the sales.” In the next race Burnham Boy was posted three wide from the start with driver Sam Ottley having to let him drift back to the rear. With just over a lap to run she took the Bettor’s Delight gelding three wide to improve round the field and sat parked from the 800. Just before turning in, Ottley pulled the ear plugs and soon took the lead from pacemaker Fireforefiddle. And typical of the Bettor’s Delight breed, fought bravely to beat Targaryen by a length and a quarter. Burnham Boy also wearing number 4 saddle cloth winning for trainer Mark Jones   – Photo Bruce Stewart In the last race of the day Ottley reined Ideal Draw to win. It was the driver’s 400th winner. Earlier in the week Jones announced that from the beginning of next month, he and Benny Hill are going into training partnership. “It’s a new challenge and a chance to refocus and get back on track. It’s an indication that two pretty above average trainers are battling, so we decided to join forces and get stronger. That’s the way forward. The big trainers are getting bigger so we have to combine our forces and get our owners together. It’s got to be better in the long run.” Earlier in the day Helluva Way cleared maiden ranks at Gore for harness identity Art Bloxham. Helluva Way returning to the birdcage with driver Blair Orange   – Photo Bruce Stewart The five year old having its fifteenth start, muscled out favourite Orlando Magic by a head. It’s was Bloxham’s first winner since Commanding View at Roxburgh in 2008. The drop back system worked perfectly for Skyvalley mare Spotlight The Valley in the McKeown Group Junior Drivers Trot. Spotlight The Valley has won seven races, and today raced against horses who’ve had either one or two wins. After trailing leader Justan’s Sister, she came up the passing lane for driver Johnny Morrison to nab Justan’s Sister by a head. Trained at Balfour by Robert Wilson, the seven year old is raced by the Sunbeam Syndicate.   Bruce Stewart

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