Day At The Track

Scorcha keeps on surprising

05:45 PM 15 Nov 2019 NZDT
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Scorcha,Harness racing
Scorcha
HRNZ

By Garrick Knight 

A season that started out without any great expectations has turned in to a very memorable one for the connections of Scorcha.

The Art Major mare burned away from her opponents in the $30,000 Show Day Futurity at Addington on Friday for their second big win in less than a month.

Last month, she won a $10,000 race at Addington and, in doing so, locked up the $10,000 first prize in the Met Mega Series, run over spring.

Naturally, having banked $47,500 in seven starts this season, her connections are over the moon. Especially since she is lucky to even be back on the race track.

“It’s fantastic, really, and totally unexpected,” said Dave Rankin, who co-owns and co-bred the mare and is also a director of Addington Raceway.

“She had an issue this time last year after three starts and we had to put her out.

“When she came back, we were just hopeful that we might have a horse that was going to do something.

“We are just so thrilled to be here, and to get the opportunity.”

Nigel McGrath trains Scorcha and he has been a regular collaborator with Rankin for many years.

“Nigel has done us extremely proud. He’s done so well as a trainer.”

Rankin says he, wife Kathy and co-breeder Ian Rule tried to sell Scorcha’s dam, Sparks Under Fire, but were left with her.

“The mare, we couldn’t give away at the sales this year when we decided that we were just about the end of our breeding career

“There was no interest, so now we’ve got another foal on the ground.

“She foaled last week and now we’re putting her back in foal to Rock N Roll Heaven.”

As for Scorcha, after a stack of interest in the past couple of months, they might yet agree to sell her if the price is right.

“There has obviously been a lot of interest in her, but we decided we weren’t interested in selling until after Cup Week.

“She could well be sold now, but we’ll wait and see for another day.

“There are further opportunities coming up and the question is, are we good enough?

“We didn’t think so today against some stiff competition so hopefully she keeps proving us wrong.”

Matt Damon, first-up for two months, was extremely brave in second while The General, who trailed throughout, sprint-laned for third.

The even-money favourite Taxman, for the second time in three days, let punters down once again, fading to fourth after free-wheeling in front.

Reprinted with permission of HRNZ

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