Day At The Track

Dream season coming to an end

03:57 PM 31 Jul 2015 NZST
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Trevor Casey - A shoe in for owner of the year
Trevor Casey - A shoe in for owner of the year

A dream season for one of the country's most prolific harness racing owners ended on Friday but there's no time for rest.

Trevor Casey started Friday on 90 winners for the season.

It hasn't been confirmed as an official record but common sense would suggest it will be.

A shoe in for owner of the year at next weekend's Harness Racing New Zealand awards night, Casey has enjoyed major success with the likes of Stent, Sky Major, Waikiki Beach, Lazarus, My Arya and Missandei.

Casey had three runners on the final day of the season but wasn't concerned if he couldn't pick up a win: "I didn't think I'd ever get this many and I doubt I'll get this many again.

"There's only one way to go from here and that's down, I'm very realistic about that in this game."

Casey is straight back into action on Sunday with Harness Jewels winner Missandei and My Arya in Group I races at Maryborough in Victoria.

Missandei will contest the Group I Redwood Classic along with the other two standouts of the two-year-old trotters crop from the New Zealand season, High Gait and Conon Bridge.

Casey won the race in 2013 with Daenerys Targaryen and also had My Arya in the field last year.

"I'm very proud of that record, to have one in the race the last three years," Casey said.

The Kiwis haven't had any luck with the barrier draws for the $50,000 mobile over 2190m. High Gait has drawn barrier six, Conon Bridge the inside of the second line and Missandei barrier 12.

Casey is happy with where Missandei's at given she's after she has won a race and two trials since transferring to the Brent Lilley stable after the Jewels but still rates High Gait the one to beat from the front line.

The Paul Nairn-trained Conon Bridge blew his chances in the Jewels with a break but did return to Ashburton to win a C1-C2 trot on July 19 before heading across the Tasman.

Mark Purdon will drive High Gait, Anthony Butt takes the reins on Missandei and Bob Butt has crossed the Tasman to drive Conon Bridge.

My Arya will have her second start back after a break in the Group I Victoria Trotters Derby.

Casey said her last start second was better than it looked after a gear change to remove the over-check and pole did not work.

My Arya has won eight of nine starts in Australia this season and Casey is expecting plenty of improvement as the Angus Hall filly prepares to win back to back Breeders Crowns.

She will start from barrier four in the 2690m mobile but Casey said Speeding Spur will be tough to beat despite his second row draw.

Mat Kermeen

Reprinted with permission of Stuff NZ - Check site here

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