Day At The Track
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Trotting sire Muscle Hill produced a notable harness racing quinella at Addington last night, when two of his progeny finished first and second in the Storer Motors (Group 2) New Zealand Trotting Oaks. The winner of the Oaks was the Mark Purdon/Natalie Rasmussen trained Luby Lou (Muscle Hill - Luby Ann), who whistled home in the middle of the track to easily beat the North Island trained Girls On Film (Muscle Hill - Regal Volo) . Run on an easy track, the time for the winner was a very good 2-25.7 for the mobile 1950m, which equated to a 2-00.2 mile rate. Luby Lou is raced by the Breckon Farms (Six of the Best) syndicate who have some high profile owners among their members.   Luby Lou syndicate among whose owners are Trevor Casey (left) and partner Kate Marriot, and Glenys Kennard (left foreground ) and husband Phil, extreme right. Mrs and Reg Storer, sponsors of the Trotting Oaks also feature.  - photo All Stars Stable The run of Luby Lou was so good tonight she would not be out of place in the 3yo Trotters Derby field, although Mark Purdon said on the All Stars website, "I'm not quite convinced about Luby Lou tackling the male youngsters in the Derby yet." "She was very good tonight and has a heap of potential but in an ideal world I would probably look at keeping her to her own sex at this stage. I want to assess how she comes through the race and what the opposition looks like before I committed to the Derby." he said. The All Stars Stable also produced Jesse Duke to beat the stable-mate A Bettor Act in Heat 2 of the 2yo Sires Stakes and then trained the trifecta in the Group 2 Vero Flying takes won by Sicario from Anthem (2nd) and Funonthebeach (3rd). Luby Lou winning the Trotting Oaks   Harnesslink Media

In the sport of harness racing in New Zealand, Paul Nairn has a reputation second to none when it comes to producing age group trotters. Tonight at Addington in the New Zealand Trotting Oaks for three year old fillies, Paul showed once again why he is held in such high regard by his fellow trainers when he produced Habibti Ivy at just her sixth lifetime start to win the Group 2 event. Away well from barrier one for driver Blair Orange, Habibti Ivy handed up to the favourite Arya after 400 metres and got a lovely trip on her back until the corner where she burst up the passing lane and was way too smart winning by 2 + 3/4 lengths without having to be driven out. Sunny Ruby after a lovely run three back on the inner flew home late for second in front of a very game Fiery Mountain Girl who sat parked for the entire trip with Arya fading late for a disappointing fourth. Paul Nairn was confident of a big run from the daughter of Love You. " Her work has been super and I was confident she would go close." " The secret is not to over race them leading into the big races like this." " We may look at the Derby now and safely through that we will have to have a serious look at going to the three year old races at Auckland," Paul said. Driver Gavin Smith was rapt with the run of Sunny Ruby for second. " She is a lovely filly to drive and gives you a great feel." "Fred Fletcher is great with young trotters and she is beautifully mannered"  "I got a great run following Habibti Ivy and she finished it off really well," Gavin said. John Dunn was rapt with the run of Fiery Mountain Girl. " She has gone huge tonight." " To be parked every inch of the race and still fight on for third was a great run for an inexperienced filly like her." " I'm over the moon with the run," John said. Paul Nairn is never short of a smart age group trotter and in Habibti Ivy he has another topliner. Harnesslink Media  

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