Day At The Track
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Wildwest had tongues wagging at Central Southland Raceway today when he impressively won on debut by twelve and a half lengths. “He’s always been a nice horse. We’ve always looked after him. He’s lost a bit of condition on the way through so we’ve put him aside then brought him back. He’s still a bit untapped,” says driver Brent Barclay. The Raging Bull three year old is trained by Barclay’s partner Lauren Pearson at Winton and was sent out hot favourite on the back of some impressive workouts and trials form. With the weight of money on the horse Barclay had no option but to take the horse to the front once he was safely underway from the stand. “I was a little bit worried at the start when he got a bit jumpy but he stepped real nice. He’s got a lot of speed and I would have liked to have seen him in behind today but in that type of field you have to drive him like the best horse.” His time was 3-03.6. The track record for three year old colts and gelding is 3-01.3 which was recorded by Shorty’s Chance in 2009. “It just felt like 3-10 not 3-03 but he’s very deceptive.” Wildwest winning his first start today The three year old has been patiently handled and local trainer Ian Jamieson managed his first two preparations. “He used to buck a bit early on but he’s been a real gentleman lately.” Wildwest is owned by Kevin Strong who has bred and raced many horses over the years. “He’s had so much bad luck so that’s why we’ve looked after him. It’s just great for Kev.” Trainer Lauren Pearson, Wildwest, Kevin Strong and driver Brent Barclay - Photo Bruce Stewart Barclay says the horse has been attracting the attention of buyers prior to his debut today. “We’ve had a lot of interest in him but we’ll discuss that with Kev.” And as for his future racing programme? “Probably Invercargill. He wouldn’t be going to Gore. I got suspended. There would have been plenty lining up to drive him there (laugh).” Pearson trained Wildwest’s dam Bay Jet which was by Jereme’s Jet. Bay Jet ran third and first at workouts but never qualified. Wildwest is her first foal. Wildwest in by the Christian Cullen stallion Raging Bull which won five of his ten starts for Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety.    Bruce Stewart

Expensive yearling Honor and Glory recouped some of his $170,000 price tag when he impressively won his first race at Ascot Park today (Sunday). He was bred by local breeder Diane Cournane who shares in the ownership with her husband Noel and The Butterworth Racing Syndicate. Honor and Glory was originally assigned to Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s Rolleston stable after his sale to Merv and Meg Butterworth but because of his size he was never going to race as a young horse. “I think he was just growing too fast for his body,” said trainer Lauren Pearson who's also a niece of the Cournanes. The gelding was also trained for a short period by Knapdale trainer Robin Swain. “He was at Robin's jogging up. He couldn’t get around his track and kept galloping. Thankfully for us Robin recommended that he come here so he could be trained on a big track. We’ve had no problem with him galloping here.” Honor and Glory winning easily on debut - Photo Bruce Stewart. Prior to today’s debut the four year old Art Major gelding had won two workouts and two trials, hence his $1.30 starting price. “The first time he went to the workouts he showed a bit of speed and has just got better and better.” Pearson and her partner Brent Barclay who drove Honor and Glory, were relatively confident of a good showing today but had question marks around how he would go on the smaller Invercargill track. “He worked really well with Duke Of Wellington on Tuesday but you can never be too confident. We were just worried about the track and the first bend.” Brent Barclay, Honor And Glory, Lauren Peason and Diane Cournane - Photo Bruce Stewart. Meanwhile Pearson is happy with the way Duke Of Wellington went at Friday’s workouts. He won his three horse heat in a good fashion and looks set for another very good season. “He went real well and we’ll take him back (to the Workouts) again. He’s pulled up well and was bucking and kicking which is not like him.”   Bruce Stewart

Winton trainer Lauren Pearson will get an idea on Friday after the Winton Workouts as to where four of her tighter assessed pacers will be headed. Duke Of Wellington, Governor’s Bay, Thisismylastflight and Zealand Star will start the serious part of their season during the next fortnight. Pearson will then map out where they'll race subsequently. Duke Of Wellington was Southland’s Horse of the Year last season winning five of his ten starts including his last four in a row. The season finished for the American Ideal gelding at Invercargill on Diamonds Day when he won the Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes after which he was spelled. “We’ll give him a couple of workouts to see how he’s coming up. We haven’t made any plans for him and Merv (owner Merv Batterworth) doesn’t know what he’s doing with him yet. He feels well in himself and I reckon he’s got taller. I used to be able to reach over and put the cart on. Now I can’t,” said Pearson. Once the four year old's had a couple of workout runs Pearson will get serious about where Duke Of Wellington will start his four year old season. “We’ve had a rough look (at the programmes) and maybe the second day at Wyndham, but he’ll be off a handicap. We had a look at the Junior Free For All but that was too tough first up.” Governor’s Bay, a recent addition to the stable is also progressing nicely in the new campaign. He was owned by Peter and Anne Bagrie and former Southlanders George Bennett and Paula Holmes before he was purchased out of Tom Bagrie’s stable in March by Butterworth. He had one start at Winton for Brett Gray’s stable in April running seventh before heading out for a spell. His current rating is R54. Another Butterworth owned pacer now with Pearson, Zealand Star, won three races last season including a Nuggets Final at Winton in February. “They’re on the same path as Duke Of Wellington. We’ll see how they come through their workouts and try and find a race for them if they’re still here. Governor’s Bay is a 54 (rating horse) so he’ll be easy to place. Zealand Star is a 66 so he’ll be a little bit harder (to place).” Pearson is now also training Thisismylastflight, the winner of four races. He was previously trained at Steven McRae’s Canterbury stable.   Bruce Stewart  

The recently named Southland Horse of the Year Duke of Wellington is back in work at Lauren Pearson’s Winton stable. Now owned by the Butterworth Racing Syndicate, the four year old gelding has been lodging at Diane Cournane’s property (Pearson’s aunt) since winning the Alabar Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes on the 29th April. “He’s just back to be jogged up for Merv and then he’ll go elsewhere I suppose. I’m not too sure where he’s going after that. He’s come back in real good order, didn’t get too fat and he’s still got a shine on his coat so he looks real good. The break did him the world of good,” Pearson said. She’s resigned to the fact that her star will only be here for a short time but she’s pleased to have been a part of his early four year old preparation. “It’s great having a nice horse in your stable to make you get up and out on the cold mornings.” Pearson says the Duke of Wellington is also pleased to be back. “He went straight back into his old box down in the back paddock. He’s still lazy as on the track but he’s bucking around and playing in the paddock.” The American Ideal gelding qualified at Ascot Park in late October and in ten starts won five races and was placed another four times. He won his last four starts in a row including the Supremacy. “That was his first season (last season) because he didn’t do anything as a two year old. To do what he did on one prep was a hell of a good feat.” Pearson and partner Brent Barclay are jogging up three Butterworth horses; Governor’s Bay, Zealand Star and Duke Of Wellington. All horses have been in work since the 24th July and will have six weeks jogging. “He’ll (Merv Butterworth) give us a yodel and tell us what’s happening after that.” Pearson says Governor’s Bay has been well looked after since being turned out. “He’s in really good condition and has got a lot to fall back on. Hopefully he does a good job for Merv.” Governor's Bay                           - Photo Bruce Stewart He was owned by George Bennett, Paula Holmes and Peter and Ann Bagrie and won two races for Tom Bagrie before he was bought by Merv and Meg Butterworth. He had one start at the end of his four year old season for Brett Gray’s stable, running seventh in the fast run 2400 metre mobile event at Winton on 14th April. He was turned out after that. Pearson, after a two week holiday in Cairns and Townsville has most her team back in work, including promising trotter Super Fast Pat. “When he gets his mind on the job he’ll earn his keep. The motor’s there and he’s got a lot of ability. He hates the grit so that’s the main problem with him.”   Bruce Stewart Souhtland Harness Racing

Southland celebrated another very good harness racing season last night with Southern Harness supporters celebrating the achievements of 2017-18 at Ascot Park Hotel. The big awards for the season went to Kenny Baynes, Duke Of Wellington and Joyfuljoy. Chatton farmer and horseman Kenny Baynes won the Achievement of the Year Award on the back of a stellar season as an owner. Kenny races horses in partnership with his wife Jo as well as Penny his sister-in-law under Baynes Racing Limited. Horses he owned won twenty one races, of which seventeen were trained in Southland. Three of his horses qualified for the Harness Jewels at Cambridge with young trotter Full Noise running second in the 2 year old Ruby. Baynes is also President of the Gore Harness Racing Club and a generous sponsor of harness racing in the province. It was a good night for Baynes, Full Noise won the Two Year Old of the Year - the first time a trotter has taken out this category. The Southland Horse of the Year this year sponsored by Elite Racing Products, was won by quality three year old Duke Of Wellington. He was also named Southland Three Year Old Colt or Gelding of the Year. The strapping American Ideal gelding was bred by local lawyer Lester Smith who owned him up until he end of the season, when he was bought by Merv and Meg Butterworth. He faced the starter ten times for five wins and four placings, earning stakes of $54,280. He then capped off his season with a good win in the Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes over 2700 metres. Duke Of Wellington was trained by Lauren Pearson at Winton and he proved his versality by recording a 1.53.6 mile at Wairio in March. Road Machine mare Joyfulbelle won the prestigious Southland Broodmare of the Year. She’s owned by the Miracle Lodge Syndicate which consists of Eric Parr and Clark Barron. As a broodmare Joyfulbelle has produced eight named foals. These include; Joyfuljoy (11 NZ wins and 1-51.6 USA), Jumpforjoy (7 wins), Fullofjoy (1 win), Pride N Joy (Qualified 1-59.5), Bettor Joy (10 wins), and Somejoy (6 wins).    Pride N Joy is the dam of two winners this season; Gift Of Joy, and this year’s Group One winner in Australia Majorpride. Joyfulbelle's latest two foals are Vergeofgreatness (a Washington VC 3 year old colt) and Alexjoy (an Art Major two year old filly). Her breeding legacy now extends into her daughters who are also leaving quality race horses. Other awards:   Contribution Awards   Jason Broad Jason has held the position as Secretary of many different harness associations over the years, and include the Trainer & Drivers Association, Southland Standardbred Breeders, Caduceus Club, S.T.O.T.B, Invercargill Workouts, and NZ Racing Managers. He has also been raceday secretary for the Omakau Trotting Club since 2002 and the Nelson Trotting Club since 2006. He's currently a trustee of Kids Kartz, which he helped set up 2009. Jason was appointed General Manager of Southern Harness in 2016.    Ross Wilson Ross has been instrumental in helping junior drivers to get on the map.  Dexter Dunn drove the five Wilson winners in 2010, Adam Sanderson 12 wins, Craig Ferguson 19 as a junior and 11 since becoming an open driver and many others have had wins for the stable.  Outside training, Ross has been on the Gore Harness Racing Club for many years and the Gore Workouts Committee. Ross has held a icence to train since 1980.   Graeme Robertson QSM Graeme has made an extraordinary contribution to the Riverton Trotting Club, being elected to the Committee in 1961 and serving concurrently for the next fifty seven years. He served as Vice-President between 1972 and 1974 and was Club President 1974-1977. Since 1978 he’s been the Treasurer of the Club - forty years! He clearly remembers 1978 as the year the club was granted its first totalizator licence.  Graham was made a life member in 2002. He’s seen the club develop from a small on-course only club that raced on a Thursday to a fully licenced trotting club that punches above its weight.  Graeme was awarded the QSM for his Services to Sport in 2017.     Southern Standardbred Breeders Trophies (leading stake earners 2017-2018) Two Year Old Filly: Rise Above This - Owner: Lester Smith - Trainer: Lauren Pearson. Three Year Old Filly: Betterthanbrie - Owner: Murray Little - Trainer: Paul Ellis.  Aged Mare: Somejoy - Owner: Miracle Lodge Syndicate - Trainer: Clark Barron.    1-58.0 Pins Betterthanbrie - Murray Little - Wyndham 17.03/2018 1-56.2. Debnita Rose - Paul Hailes, Jonny Turner and Carl McIntyre - Oamaru 24/09/2017 1-57.4.  Franco Tai - Robert and Sharon Symon - NZ Metro 20/10/2017 1-57.0. Havtime - Murray Little and Malcolm and Sarndra Little - Auckland 11/05/2018 1-58.0. Mach's Back - Murray Little - Winton 14/04/2018 1-57.3. Mighty Conqueror - Mark Shirley and Malcolm Dewe - Winton 14/04/2018 1-57.7. Patanjali - Robert and Sharon Symon - Forbury Park 05/04/2018 1-58.0 Raksbet - Brendan Fahy - Ashburton 25/02/2018 1-55.1 and Wyndham 18/01/2018 1-56.5 Group Certificates  Bettor Joy - Breeder - Miracle Lodge Syndicate (Group Two Ladyship Stakes) Duke Of Wellington - Breeder - Lester Smith (Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes) Pat's Delight - Breeder - Charlton Park Enterprises (Pat Kubala) (Group One Three Year Old Emerald and Group Two Summer Cup). New Zealand Records Jen Jaccka - Charlie and Alisa Smaill - 2400 metre stand (trotting mares) 28/09/2017 - Winton - 3-00.9. Full Noise - Baynes Racing Limited 2700 metre stand (two year old trotting colts and geldings) 07/05/2018 -Ascot Park -3-35.2.  Southern Standardbred Breeders Fastest Mile Rate - Filly or mare 2017-2018 Somejoy 1-53.2 Wairio Trotting Club at Winton 24th March 2018 - Owner: Miracle Lodge Syndicate - Trainer: Clark Barron.  Southland Harness Awards - Two Year Old Colt or Gelding of the Year Full Noise - Owner: Baynes Racing Limited - Trainer: Brett Gray. Robin Dundee Club - Three Year Olds Of The Year  I'mallaboutthebase (filly) -Owners: Steve and Carol Baucke - Trainer: Steve Baucke. Duke of Wellington (colt/gelding) - Owner: Lester Smith - Trainer: Lauren Pearson.  Caduceus Club of Southland Trotter of the Year Grace O'Malley - Owner: Go Ziggy Go Limited - Trainer: Curly Thomas     Southland Trainers and Drivers Association 2018 Awards Trainer of the Year: Brett Gray (34) Driver of the Year: Nathan Williamson (42) Junior Driver of the Year: Sheree Tomlinson (30) Trotting Driver of the Year: Brent Barclay (12) Southland Harness Racing Award of Excellence Sheree Tomlinson - First woman driver to win the time honoured Dominion Handicap Trot Pat's Delight - Winner of the Group One Three Year Old Emerald. Havtime - Winner of the $146,250 Listed New Zealand Yearling Sales Fillies Final It's Ella was also honoured on the night. The Washington VC mare won sixteen races including the Group Two Caduceus Club Mares Championship in 2007 and 2008 as well as the 2007 Group One PGG Wrightson New Zealand Breeders Stakes.  Another excellent season for Harness Racing in Southland. Congratulations to all winners and to those who were nominated. We look forward to another successful season where Southland breeders, trainers and drivers put their names on the harness racing map. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

Invercargill lawyer Lester Smith has a good chance of picking up a couple of categories at this season’s Southland Harness Awards. American Ideal gelding Duke Of Wellington was the province's leading stake earner and his dam Galleons Cheer looks like a strong candidate for Broodmare of the Year. Duke Of Wellington qualified at the end of October last year and in his first season of racing he started ten times and was in the money each time. He won five races, including his last four, ran second three times, and third and fourth once each. He ended his season with an impressive win in the $45,000 Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes. His seasons earnings were $54,280. His success is a credit to his trainer Lauren Pearson and his driver Brent Barclay who had him peaking at the right end of the season. In the Supremacy he raced in Smith’s name along with the Butterworth Racing Syndicate which had bought into the horse at that point. Merv and Meg Butterworth now own the horse outright and he’s currently spelling at Diane Cournane’s Grove Bush agistment farm. Venice Beach (renamed My Venice Beach), which Smith sold in March last year has also had a successful season for her dam Galleons Cheer.  The Somebeachsomewhere mare has won six races this season, $25,738 and lowered her winning mile time to 1-53.6. Another of Galleon Cheers' foals; Rise Above This, won her first start at Winton pacing a mile in 1-58.5. To cap off the season the mare's only other foal to race this season - Laszlo - (formally Dazed And Confused), also won once at Globe Derby Park. The four horses are the mare’s first four foals of racing age. Her next foal also by Somebeachsomewhere, is a yearling. The next best Southland trained stake earner was Somejoy. She won six races from ten starts and earned her connections $47,230.   Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing

"It worked out really well. Everything went to plan," were the comments from driver Brent Barclay after winning the Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes on the Winton trained Duke Of Wellington. In today's Group Three feature, Barclay settled the American Ideal gelding in seventh place off the rails. With two laps to run he was sitting four back on the outside. With 850 metres to run Barclay pushed out and got into the three wide line to followed up Mighty Conqueror and Hail Christian. Turning in he made his challenge four wide and Duke Of Wellington let down nicely to beat Hail Christian by three quarters of a length. "He was a bit keen today and did well to keep going so I was really happy. He just knocks off when he gets there (to the front)."  Winning connections, trainer Lauren Pearson holding rug and owner Lester Smith next to her - Photo Bruce Stewart. Duke Of Wellington, which was Winton trainer Lauren Pearson's biggest training win, was bred by Invercargill Lawyer Lester Smith who had raced the gelding up until the Supremacy today. He was sold last week to Australians Merv and Meg Butterworth and part of the arrangement was that Smith remained in the horse for today's race. "Merv phoned before the race and said 'make sure you make a good speech' so I hope I didn't let him down," Smith said he was reluctant to sell but he looks to have a nice filly to carry on with. "I was but I've got this filly (half-sister Rise Above This) to go on with."  Duke Of Wellington is named after a hotel in Melbourne. "The hotel was established in 1853. It's the oldest pub in Melbourne. I drink there sometimes when I'm there for the Australian Open in January." Smith used to buy yearlings at the sales but changed tack when prices rose. "I used to go to the sales and found the ones that I wanted were far too expensive so I decided to breed from a couple of mares - Weka Lass and Galleons Honour." Galleons Honour, the dam of Duke Of Wellington, is by Christian Cullen out of Galleon Cheer.   "I got her from a dispersal sale at Kerry Hoggards. He'd bought her for $80,000 as a yearling and she won her first race beating the likes of De Lovely. She wasn't the same afterwards. So I bought her as a broodmare."   The win today was a great boost for the locals. Southland horses have had a lean run in this race over the past decade. Since it's inception in 1984, Southland trained horses have won the race 14 times. The last Southland winner was I’m Full Of Excuses, winning for Clark Barron in 2015. Prior to that Looksaflyer won in 2006 driven by Brent Barclay. "It's great today for Brent and Lauren.That's the biggest thrill really," Smith said after the race. Smith won the 1997 Supremacy Stakes with Atitagain which was trained by Wayne Adams. The gelding won four of his eleven three year old starts and ran fifth in Bogan Fella’s 2007 New Zealand Derby. He was exported shortly after and did a grand job in Australia, winning a further twenty two races. Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Duke Of Wellington continued his progress towards the Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes on Diamonds Day when he impressively won at Ascot Park yesterday. He's been one of the most progressive three year olds in the province this season but has required plenty of time to mature. “As a yearling he was real gangly so we turned him out and gave him time. As a two year old we brought him back in but he was too gangly so we biffed him back out again. After that he’s come back nice and strong. We waited for him to develop and it’s worked out,” said trainer Lauren Pearson. He also looks to have fined down as a racehorse. “We’ve probably been too fat. Everyone says I have my horses too fat. He’s holding his condition quite well at the moment so that’s good.” The three year old by American Ideal is owned and was bred by Invercargill lawyer Lester Smith. Pearson, who trains Duke Of Wellington at Winton says you can't get a line on the horse at home but he brings his A game to the race track. “He’s a big dummy at home and you can’t go on his work at home because he’s that lazy but on race day...... He’s starting to cotton on a wee bit. The pull down blinds have made a difference with him.” So, with his third win in the can, he's well on target to be in the frame for the Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes later this month. “Yeah that’s our aim. It’s going to be a real good field.He’s going good enough so you’ve got to have a crack at it. I like his attitude and with him being so laidback at home he doesn’t over exert himself. Then he comes to the races and knows what it’s all about. For a big horse he’s got a good bit of speed.” After the early rush in today's race driver Brent Barclay settled Duke Of Wellington into the one one. That's where he stayed until the 400 when Barclay brought him out to make his run. He cruised to the line to easily win by two lengths from two Brett Gray runners Convair Hustler and Rockaball. “Brent said he was a bit toey behind the gate but once he was on the journey he knows how to relax. That helps when you’re trying to beat the good ones." Pearson said Duke Of Wellington is easy to train and she hasn't done too much with him since his impressive win over a mile in 1-53.9 at Winton at the end of last month. “Since his last race he’s had a couple of hopples and two canters and that’s it.” Duke Of Wellington is out of the one win Christian Cullen mare Galleon Honour which Smith bought in 2010. Galleon Honour is out of Galleons Cheer, a talented Albert Albert mare which won five of her nine starts for Hamish Hunter before injury curtained her career. Back to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart Pearson recently qualified a two year old filly out of Galleons Honour called Rise Above This. She's by Bettor's Delight. “Yeah she’s goes quite nice. I think we’ll take her to Winton for the two year old race. She’s a filly, so it makes it hard. She seems to have stepped up every time she’s gone off the place. She’s got a nice bit of speed.” Galleons Honour has been a great broodmare for Smith with her first four foals all qualifying. Her first foal Dazed and Confused qualified impressively here but was unraced when sold to an Australian interest. Under the name Laszro, he's won nine races in Australia. The mare's second foal Venice Beach by Somebeachsomewhere won three times for Pearson before she was also sold to Aussie where she's gone on to win another four races. The win today elevated Duke Of Wellington up the points table for the Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes. One trainer I talked to today said New Zealand Derby winner Sheriff isn't coming down for the Supremacy. It's also highly unlikely that the all conquering All Stars Stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen will have a runner in this years three year old feature. Although Duplicated has started twice in the province he probably won't be high enough on the table (based on stakes won) to get a start.   Meanwhile earlier in the programme business partner and fellow lawyer Murray Little continued his great season when Betterthanbrie won her second race in just four starts. The Betterthancheddar three year old filly made the most of a inside trailing position to beat Jody Direen by half a length.  Bruce Stewart Southland Harness racing Duke Of Wellington winning yesterday

Few harness racing punters were expecting The Dali Express to win at Ascot Park yesterday.   Despite showing some good workout form the Dali three year old had a below average race day scorecard with a thirteenth at Winton and a seventh on his track in his only two starts.    However as owners Murray and Wendy Swain both pointed out he'd hadn't had much luck either.    "He was unlucky last start. He was five deep (on the inside) and it was all over after the leader ran his last quarter in 27 seconds. It just worked out perfectly for him today," said Murray.   Driver Allan Beck positioned The Dali Express three back on the inside while Better Than Most set the pace. With 400 metres to run the field opened up and Beck was able to get him off the running line. At the top of the straight the ear plug came out and he started to make up the four lengths behind Better Than Most. He came down the middle of the track to win easily by three quarters of a length. The 2200 metres was run in a smart 2-42.4.    The Dali Express winning           Photo by Bruce Stewart       "I bought him at the Christchurch Weanling Sales for five grand. I liked the look of him. There's about 24 Dali's around and I've got three of them."   Straight after the run local agent Geoff Gibson-Smith was on the scene.    "All of my horses are for sale. He's a nice handy horse that's getting better and better all the time. He's just taken time to develop. He wasn't a high speed horse at two but he's got great confirmation."    Swain also has high hopes for a two year old that he took to the Winton Workouts on Friday. Major McRae is by Art Major out of the Christian Cullen mare Whitewash. He owns the gelding with Wayne Pope.    Meanwhile Invercargill lawyer Lester Smith, driver Brent Barclay and Winton trainer Lauren Pearson scored a double yesterday when Reciprocity won the Gore New World Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace and Venice Beach won her second race in as many starts when she took out the last race on the card.   Reciprocity is a three year old filly by Panspacificflight out of Weka Lass which Wayne Adams trained to win six races. Barclay took her straight to the lead and she won by one and a half lengths.    Reciprocity winning easily                          Photo by Bruce Stewart   Venice Beach was even more impressive. She settled last on the inside, got off the running line when Betta Go Fernco improved with 600 metres to run and followed that horse up. The Somebeachsomewhere filly was brought five wide at the top of the straight and charged home to beat Bootie Bromac by a length and a quarter. The winning time for the 1700 metres was 2-04.4 with Venice Beach running her last 800 metres in 56.6.   It was the second time Pearson has scored a double. The first was on her home track in  May 2010 when Montecrengle and Akaroa Charlie won. Both were driven by Barclay.   The Pearson/Barclay combination looked unlucky when their other run Highland Girl broke at the start, made a run from the 600 and got within a length and a half of the winner Northview Dave.      Bruce Stewart Southland Harness Racing  

Somebeachsomewhere filly Venice Beach bounced back after a last start fifth to win the Macca Lodge Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace at Ascot Park on Saturday. The three year old owned by local lawyer Lester Smith has been a project for Winton trainer Lauren Pearson and partner Brent Barclay who drove the filly to win.  "We like her but she hasn't beaten anything much yet so she's got to take the next step up and race against the better ones. But she went 42 (time of 2 minutes -42 seconds) today so hopefully you don't have to go too much better," said Pearson. She ran a promising third at her first start at Gore last month - charging home for third. She then ran fifth on her home track at Winton two weeks later.  "We were disappointed (at Winton) but when that horse crashed beside her (Ivy May Delight) she got all stirred up and she started kicking and bucking. Then she gave them a big head start. She then went round the field and did a wee bit of work. When you take all that into account she didn't go too bad." After that run Pearson and Barclay decided to revert to the plan they had at Gore and take her out onto the track early.  "She doesn't like horses rushing up behind her when you first go out onto the track. We did it at Gore and it worked so we're just going to keep doing it." They're also going to keep her on the unruly mark.  "Brent said if she sees the mobile it'll drive her silly. We'll take our time with her and keep her where she is and where she's happy." Venice Beach out wide winning her maiden                           Photo by Bruce Stewart   Venice Beach is out of the one win Christian Cullen mare Galleons Honour who qualified and won for Auckland trainer Gareth Dixon. She was purchased by Smith in June 2010 and had three unsuccessful starts at Forbury for Pearson that month. Galleons Honour is out of Galleon's Cheer a promising Albert Albert mare that won five of her nine starts for Ryal Bush trainer Hamish Hunter before a bone disorder in her foot ended her racing career. Galleons Honour is a half sister to Cheer The Lady, the winner of eleven races. So does Venice Beach have the potential to be a Southland Oaks filly? "It's hard to say because she's still growing. I really haven't had an Oaks filly to compare her with. She's got a lot of top speed even in track work. Nothing can go with her in track work."   The promise that this well bred filly shows is going to have to be managed.  "We'll take her home and see how she eats up. She didn't eat that well after her run at Winton. We'll have a look round (at the programme) and look for a race. But she's not a kids horse (junior driver) so Brent will carry on driving her and we'll just have to place her." Galleons Honour has left more well bred progeny and Lester Smith and Pearson have a two year old colt by American Ideal on the production line. His name is Duke Of Wellington.  "He's very big so is going to take time but he's got a lovely way of going and a laidback nature like his brother (Dazed and Confused)."   Bruce Stewart

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