Day At The Track

Wolfenden wins big at North Island Awards

11:32 AM 01 Sep 2012 NZST
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Peter Wolfenden Peter Wolfenden Cardigan Bay and Peter Wolfenden Sole Command & Peter Wolfenden The legendary Peter Wolfenden (MBE)
Peter Wolfenden
Peter Wolfenden - Pictured talking to the Duchess Of Kent
Cardigan Bay and Peter Wolfenden
Sole Command & Peter Wolfenden - 1977 New Zealand Cup
Photo Courtesy Of Ron Bisman's Salute to Trotting
The legendary Peter Wolfenden (MBE) - Patron of the New Zealand Trotting Hall Of Fame.
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He was the 'Dexter Dunn' of the 1950s and 60s and later went on to become one of the giants of New Zealand harness racing. Tonight (Saturday September 1) at Alexandra Park in Auckland the legendary Peter Wolfenden was again acknowledged by his peers.

Already a New Zealand Sports and Trotting Hall-Of-Famer, the 77-year-old tonight won the most prestigious award at the 2012 Alabar North Island Harness Racing Awards held at the racetrack’s Tasman Room.

Drury-based Wolfenden won the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing’. He was as proud as what he was when winning races with arguably New Zealand’s greatest ever pacer – Cardigan Bay.

His name is inextricably linked to ‘Cardy’ – the first standardbred in the world to earn $1 million.

The man nick-named ‘Wolfie’ drove Cardigan Bay to a win in the final of the Interdominion, two Auckland Cups and the New Zealand Cup.

Their greatest race was the 1963 Auckland Cup when Cardigan Bay, handicapped to 78 yards, still beat the high-class field by half a length.

But Cardigan Bay was far from Wolfenden’s sole vehicle for success. He drove the winner of the New Zealand Cup four times and the Auckland Cup five times. He won the drivers’ premiership 14 times, eight times in succession from 1974, as well as a trainers’ premiership.

Absolute legend!

The Wolfenden Fast File:

· * Career NZ Driving wins 1762 - formerly all-time leader.

· * First winner driven was Anthracite at Hawera in April 1952.

· * 14 times national driving premiership Winner.

· * 7-time NZ Rep at the World Drivers Championship.

· * Has trained a total of 798 winners over 54 years in NZ.

  * Runner-up in World Driving Champs in1977 and third in 1971

· * Has won 6 Auckland Cups, 5 Rowe Cups and 4 NZ Cups.

· * 2-time Australasian Drivers Championship winner.

· * Countries Peter has driven in include Norway,Finland, Germany, Italy, France, USA, Canada,Macau, Wales and Australia.

Zac Butcher – 56 years younger than Wolfenden – won the night’s other major award – the ‘Racing Achievement Award.

Not only was he the North Island’s top driver with a personal best 115 wins ($887,348 – UDR: 0.2733), but last month he again won the New Zealand Junior Driver’s Championship at Addington Raceway.

Auckland Cup winner Sir Lincoln won the ‘Pacer-Of-The-Year’ title while ‘NZ Harness Horse-Of-the-Year’, I Can Doosit, was predictably named the ‘North Island Trotter-Of-The-Year’.

Full results from the 2012 Awards Dinner held at Alexandra Park tonight (Saturday September1) were:

Alabar North Island Award for Outstanding Contribution to Harness Racing: Peter Wolfenden.

Qantas Freight North Island Racing Achievement Award: Zac Butcher.

Auckland Trotting Club North Island Pacer-Of-The-Year: Sir Lincoln. .

Harness Racing New Zealand North Island Trotter: I Can Doosit.

Veterinary Associates Equine and Farm North Island Trainer: Barry Purdon.

IRT North Island Driver: Todd Macfarlane.

Mitavite North Island Junior Driver: Zac Butcher.

Streamline Freight North Island Groom: Joe Moka.

Glen Elgin Farm North Island Amateur Driver: Jeff Darby

Garrards Horse and Hound North Island Owners: Lincoln Farms Ltd.

Nevele R Stud North Island Breeders: Breckon Bloodstock Ltd.

Magness Video Ltd/Vid-Com Ltd North Island Licence to Train/Own: Rob Lawson.

PGG Wrightson North Island 2 year old Colt or Gelding: Five Card Draw.

PGG Wrightson North Island 2 year old Filly: La Norvic De Milo.

Breckon Bloodstock Ltd North Island 2 year old Trotter: Prime Power.

Breckon Bloodstock Ltd North Island 3 year old Trotter: Cyclone U Bolt

Crombie Lockwood Bloodstock North Island 3 year old Colt or Gelding: Ideal Scott.

Crombie Lockwood Bloodstock North Island 3 year old Filly: Twist And Twirl.

Caduceus Club North Island Filly/Mare: O Baby.

Woodlands Stud North Island Stallion: Bettor's Delight.

Equine Veterinary Services North Island Broodmare: Sheezadoosie.

A 2012 Peter Wolfenden interview 

By Duane RANGER(editor)

(1) Cardigan Bay winning the International Pace Prep at Yonkers Raceway in 1964:

(2) A tribute to the Peter Wolfenden driven Cardigan Bay:

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