Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 4 of 4
1

The name of 'Geddes' has been heavily involved in harness racing in New Zealand as long as the records go back. As Jim Geddes was explaining to the writer yesterday afternoon at Reefton, his great great grand father was driving in a race in Canterbury as far back as 1868 and the family have been involved ever since. These days Jim trains in conjunction with his son James Geddes and they always have a handy horse or two in the barn. Yesterday they lined up four starters at the Reefton meeting and came away with two winners and a placegetter for a great result for the small Norwood based barn. First up was the four year old American Ideal mare in Bontz who lead early for James before taking a trail behind the favourite Blade and when angled into the clear at the top of the straight, she simply ran away and hid from the opposition by 3 1/2 lengths. Extremely unlucky on the first day at Westport on Friday, James was very confident going into yesterday's race. " I took a trail on Friday behind the $2.00 shot but it stopped badly on the last corner and dragged me out the back." " I was absolutely jogging at the time and would have won easily so I was out early today to make sure I didn't get caught again." " I thought Bontz was good enough to go around in the good fillies races last year but she use to tie up something shocking and we had to put her aside. " This year we give her a mixture of swimming and galloping but not too much of either to be honest and it seems to be working.' She has got the ability to win a few more races yet, James told Harnesslink yesterday afternoon. Four races later the stablemate Mogul made it two wins from two starts over the weekend when he proved way too strong for a good field of C1 pacers in the hands of stand in driver Ricky May as James was driving the stablemate Buckeye. Away well early, Mogul joined the three wide line and progressed to the parked position with a lap to go. From there he got cover behind the favourite Latin Lloyd and when Ricky asked him for an effort on the corner, Mogul quickly sprinted up to them and past them for an impressive victory. Ricky May was suitably impressed. " He doesn't know anything yet but he has got a lot of bottom to him and showed a bit of speed when I pulled him out. " He has got the makings of a nice horse." James was just as impressed with the son of American Ideal. " That is only the fourth time off the place in his career to date." " He qualified the first time we took him off the place in mid January and then we gave him a quiet C0 trial before coming to the coast." " Both his wins here have been on raw ability as he hasn't got any ring craft yet." " He gives you the feel of a really nice horse in the making but whether that is for me or not is another matter." "I am milking 800 cows and have heaps of young ones at home so the racehorses are all for sale at the moment." Megan Mcintyre has been a great help with the young ones at home and I can't thank her enough but we have nine yearlings and seven weanlings at the moment so we need to be turning them over," James said. Harnesslink Media

It is not often you can go to a harness racing meeting in New Zealand and see a free legged pacer but yesterday at Geraldine Justasip strutted her stuff without the aid of a pair of hopples. The daughter of Bettors Delight has been prominent in all her four starts this campaign without the hobbles with a neck second at Oamaru her best result before yesterday. Settling four back in the running line from her second line draw, Justasip peeled four wide at the top of the straight and finished over the top of them late to claim a narrow but impressive win. Driver James Geddes was not surprised with yesterdays effort.. "Since we took the hobbles off in early November she has really turned the corner." " Her three runs before today all had merit and I don't think that will be her last win," James said. After qualifying well at three, Justasip had been very disappointing in the seven starts she had last season. This time in she again went terribly at her first start back at the trials so James decided to change tack with her. "I was about to quit with her but dad kept reminding me of how well she had qualified and that we should try something different with her," "We decided to use her as a galloping pacemaker but all she would do was free leg the whole time." "I took her to the trials free legged and she ran third at the first one and then won the second so I knew we were on the right track, " James said. James always had it in the back of his mind that Justasip would break without the hopples on at some point  but to date it hasn't happened. " She hasn't looked like making a mistake to date and is pretty foolproof really." " I did toy with selling her when she won a trial without the hopples but I am glad I didn't now." "Really all the credit should go to dad who knew she was a lot better than what she was showing, "James said. Free legged pacers are a rarity on the New Zealand harness racing scene with most trainers having doubts about how solid they will be but as Justasip showed yesterday,sometimes it is just what the doctor ordered. Harnesslink Media  

On one hand, James Geddes was a little surprised at the manner in which Magna was able to win yesterday's Xmas Cup at yesterdays harness racing meeting at Motukarara, but then on the other hand he wasn't. If you're confused by that, don't be. It's just the way the smart pacing mare is. Fresh up since May, she sat three wide outside Backup for most of the last 1000 metres and instead of reaching for the oxygen tanks half way down the testing Motukarara straight she found another gear and kept fighting strongly to the line to win in emphatic fashion. And while her $20 tote price would reflect that her chances didn't appear all that strong, she turned in a performance more worthy of a horse paying single figures. "She's always been a tough mare,'' Geddes, who trains in partnership with his father Jim, said. "I thought she would go a good race, but I guess you have to be a little bit surprised at the way she did it.'' Unsighted since running fourth to Isaiah at Addington at the start of May, Geddes said it's been a healthy diet of swimming for the daughter of American Ideal. "She's hardly been in the cart, it's just been swimming and more swimming for her. "To be honest she's probably only on three legs, and she didn't feel all that comfortable out there.'' Motukarara has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Magna having registered two wins, a second and two thirds on the surface. Geddes was quick to pay credit to his father, who he said has been instrumental. "I'm just wrapt for Dad, he's done all the work with her so a lot of the credit must be given to him.'' Ther father and son partnership have made a good start to the season with Dixie Commando also winning this month. Earlier in the day, the class act of yesterday's meeting, Joanne's A Delight, made light work of her resumption. The Nigel McGrath trained filly didn't feel all that happy on the grass track surface and her trainer has no intention on starting her on the green stuff again. "She didn't like it all, I thought we were in trouble for a while,'' McGrath said. "Class got her through in the end.'' The main early target for the smart filly is the Sales Series race at Addington at the end of next month. McGrath, along with the filly's American owners Gordon Banks and Mark Hanover, opted to miss the three-year-old features at Alexandra Park with an idea of being on the fresh side for Addington. "They are running some serious times up there so some of them are going to be coming down a bit tired. "We will look to have one more run before the Sales Series.'' Courtesy of Matt Markham - Harness Racing New Zealand   <  

The ever decreasing numbers of harness racing  mares being bred makes it essential that we get the best use of those horses we do have racing and there can be little doubt that the drop back system is helping in that regard. Available to all horses 4 years + older who have not won in their last ten starts, the drop back provision has meant a new lease of life for a lot of horses and kept a lot of horses racing when otherwise they would have been retired or sold. One of the latest examples to take advantage of the system is Friday nights winner at Addington Raceway in Dixie Commando.  A six win mare, Dixie Commando last raced before Friday night in May against the likes of Kincaslough, Jaccka Justy and Dr Hook and she finished a tidy fourth on that occasion. With the drop back to a nine rating Dixie Commando sneaked into the C2-C4 trot over 1950 metres and co - trainer and driver James Geddes thought she would be hard to beat. " It was a big drop back in class to what she had been racing and even though she drew barrier nine I thought she would be very hard to beat." " She has always gone good fresh in the past so she had a lot in her favour on Friday night," James told Harnesslink yesterday. James has always had a lot of time for the daughter of CR Commando. " She is such a beautifully gaited mare and lovely to do anything with." "High speed is her other biggest attribute so the mobile sprints suit her," James said. Badly injured as a 5 year old, Dixie Commando had a pastern screwed together but the injury has had no long term affects on the mare. " She doesn't do much at home at all to be honest" "She is quite an athletic type and we just keep her ticking over," James said. On Friday night James and Dixie Commando made a flyer from barrier 9 and were able to slip into the trail behind the tearaway early leader The Bog. With The Bog setting a quick tempo in front, James never had to leave the trail until 150 metres from the finish and quickly claimed The Bog for a comfortable victory with the best of the rest being Astrapi who was 2 3/4 lengths away in third. Dixie Commando trotted the 1950 metres in 2:25.7, a mile rate of 2:00.2 It was Dixie Commando's 7th career victory and along with 22 placings she has now earned $76,139. James said serious consideration was given to sending Dixie Commando to the breeding barn earlier in the season. " We did give it serious consideration but with the drop back system in play we thought their might be a win or two in her yet," James said. When Dixie Commando does retire to the breeding barn, she has plenty to recommend her for that role. Dixie Commando is a daughter of the Sundon mare Galleons Tribute who is a half sister to the outstanding broodmare Rob The Nest who has left such standouts as Galleons Assassin 1:55.4 ($327,286) and King Of Strathfield 1:56.8 ($253,950) amongst a plethora of talented trotters. The way Dixie Commando won on Friday night however means that may not happen any time soon. Harnesslink Media  

1 to 4 of 4
1