Invercargill Briefs (Tuesday 6th June 2017)

Bruce Stewart

Senorita Margarita broke a fourteen year old track and Southland record when she won at Ascot Park yesterday.

The three year old filly by Vintage Master has only been in the south for six weeks after being leased out of Mark Jones stable.

Her 2-46.5 for the 2200 metre stand bettered Precious Title’s 2-47.1 set in 2003. The time also created a new all-comers record.

Now trained by Kirstin Barclay, Senorita Margarita began well and lead all the way for stable driver Andrew Suddaby.

“She stepped good. We weren’t too sure how she would go from a stand because both of her workouts had been from the mobile. I got her on the right foot and she went away good,” he said.


Senorita Margarita winning - Photo Bruce Stewart 


Suddaby was quick to assess the situation and with Spoilsport on his back - the rest of the field split into two bunches and strung out, he didn’t allow the chasers to make up any significant ground.

“I didn’t think I was going that quick but running 2-46 is probably why they were strung out. I had a look a few times and we were (the first two) out by a wee way so I just kept the pedal to the metal and it worked in the end.”

The winning margin was three quarters of a length with Ideal Art running second.

“At the top of the straight I thought the others were going to get past me. She may have knocked off a bit and was waiting on the others. If we’d gone another 100 metres I still think she would have held them out (anyway).”

Senorita Margarita is out of the nineteen win Holmes Hanover mare Oaxaca Lass.



Returning with Andrew Suddaby - Photo Bruce Stewart 


Oamaru reinsman Matthew Williamson did the right thing when he drove November Guy to win the second race at Ascot Park.

The six year old Monarchy gelding is raced by his partner Charlotte Purvis.

November Guy held on to win by half a length from a fast finish Ash driven by Williamson’s older brother Nathan.

The gelding is well bred being out of the six win Chiola Hanover mare Ado’s Angel.


 November Guy and Matty Williamson - Photo Bruce Stewart


Williamson has had a busy few days with driving at Ashburton on Saturday and Sunday and then heading to the Invercargill meeting today.

He later drove the much improved Rakarover which won the last race.



The county’s leading reinsman Dexter Dunn was late arriving on course today, fog having disrupted his flight south.

And a power failure on-course meant the first race was delayed twice which meant Dunn only missed out on one drive. His winning streak of five started in Race Four with the well-bred Sundons Wish returning to winning form.

Sundons Wish’s win was some compensation for part-owner Neville Cleaver whose horse Hopes And Dreams missed out on a start in Saturday’s Harness Jewels. She was first ballot in the Four Year Old Diamond but didn’t gain re-entry.

Dunn’s five winners for the day were  – Sundons Wish, Machie Mach, Jody Direen, Wayward Roc and Simply Dreaming.


Young Conquerors win in the South Port Bluff Cup probably sealed the Southland Trainers Premiership for Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray.

The three year old, racing against older more experienced opposition, lead early before Break Dance took over with 1800 metres to run. Once Young Conqueror reached the passing lane he sprinted up the straight to win by two and a half-lengths from favourite Tas Man Bromac. The winning time of 3-23.0 equalled the race record for a 2700 metre stand. Belkmyster recorded the same time when he won the Inaugural Cup in 2014.




Cola Makes A Splash (Saturday 10th June 2017)


Bruce Stewart


Any punters who've seen Splash Cola in her prime are unlikely to have questioned her ability. But a host of minor setbacks have prevented the talented mare from proving her worth on the racetrack.


In only her fourteenth start over three seasons of racing the six year old trotting mare proved at Ascot Park today she hasn't finished winning yet.  


"She got a nice run early being one off the fence. We then moved to the lead and she was just too good. I thought if she trotted today she'd be hard to beat. She's still a day to day proposition so we've got to keep going," said trainer driver Nathan Williamson after the run.


She won by eight lengths and her time of 2-46.2 for the 2200 metre mobile on a wet 7 degree day was outstanding. The track record for mares of 2-45.2 is held by another Williamson runner in Dwindle Mist.


"She's still got a wee way to go fitness wise. She trotted lovely last week and got away from the stand but made a short bobble for about 20 to 30 metres. I was rapt with the way she was trotting. Then Gordie (Gordon Lee on Moment Of Sun) took half the field out with 900 metres to go. A few of them settled down but once she (Splash Cola) galloped that was it. She's quite a good trotter when she does it right." 



Splash Cola in full stride for Nathan Williamson - Photo Wayne Huddleston - Wide Range Photography


Today's win was her first since January 2014.


By Sundon out of the Chiola Cola mare Delcola she's owned by Ian Hunter. Her half-sister Delestic by Majestic Son also looks promising. She's won twice from just seven starts.


Meanwhile former Southland trainer Ken Dixon trained his first trotting winner when Sheer Class won the Invercargill Workouts Committee Trot at Ascot Park today.


It was the trainer's 57th winner since he started training in 1976. His first winner was Master Vilas at Winton in November 1976. Over the years he's trained many good pacers including Historic Moment (7), Whale Of A Tale (6), Taurus Chief (4) and New Energy (4). He also developed Richard Henry which won thirty six races in Australia. 



Sheer Class and Brent Barclay beating Ambro Ameigo - Photo Bruce Stewart



 Returning to the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart 








The Baynes Train Steams On
 (Saturday 10th June 2017)


Bruce Stewart


In the last two months Kenny, Jo and Penny Baynes have had a good run with their horses Jody Direen, The Night Hawk, Too Cool have all of whom have won.



Kenny and Jo race horses under their own names while Kenny and his sister-in-law Penny race under the Baynes Racing banner.


Kenny and Jo's run continued today at Ascot Park when debutant Especial beat Ideal Conquest by a length and a half. 


The Christian Cullen filly was bred by the couple and is out of the Falcon Seelster mare Especial Franco which Kenny Baynes bought in 2012.  


"I missed out on buying Expressionist (Live Or Die - Especial Franco) at the sale because I was making a phone bid and the power went off. McRae (Ken McRae) said the mare (Especial Franco) was for sale in the Harness Weekly so I snapped her up. She's (Especial) is nicely gaited and she's got a big ticker so we've just waited for her," said Kenny Baynes who part owns the filly with his wife Jo. 



 Especial and Matt Anderson beating Ideal Conquest (outside) - Photo Bruce Stewart



Heading for the birdcage - Photo Bruce Stewart



Matt Anderson, Jo Baynes, Kenny Baynes and Especial - Photo Bruce Stewart 


Trained by Tony Stratford at Gore, Especial qualified in May on her home track. 


"She got caught in a fence as a two year old. We were doing the pre-training of her, Jody Direen and Too Cool and they were set to go to the workouts at Christmas but they got colds," said Jo.


Jo says she and Kenny will continue to pre-train all of the Baynes horses and then send them on to other trainers.


"It seems to be a winning formula."


Especial's half sister Envious raced at Alexandra Park last night running seventh.


"She does go good that way round but I think she's missing her mum. Derek Balle is looking after her. She should have gone better than than but we'll take some blood off her. I may have to go up there."


Meanwhile one of Southland's older syndicates The Highlanders Syndicate owned another winner at Ascot Park today. Ideal Art won nicely by three quarters of a length from late finishers Toby O'Gara and Bettor Under Fire.

She's by American Ideal out of Arts Mistress and was also bred by the syndicate. Ideal Art is trained by Murray Brown and was driven by Sheree Tomlinson.  



Ideal Art (4) beating Toby O'Gara (1) - Photo Bruce Stewart




Sheree Tomlinson and Ideal Art saluting the judge - Photo Bruce Stewart 










Wish Goes Whoosh
(Saturday 10th June 2017)


Bruce Stewart


Talented trotter Sundons Wish won his second race on end and fourth in his first season of racing when he lead, trailed then sped up the passing lane to beat favourite Alderbeck by a length and a quarter.


The five year old Sundon gelding is owned by breeder Neville Cleaver and trainer Ian Jamieson.



Sundons Wish and Nathan Williamson beating brother Brad driving Alderbeck (12) - Photo Bruce Stewart



Muddy but happy - Photo Bruce Stewart 


Although he's been in Jamieson's stable most of his career he was transferred to Branxholme trainer Nathan Williamson earlier this season - the stable from whence he won his first two races. 


"Nathan's different method of training him worked. We've just carried on the same way. We sent him down to Nathan to see what he could find out and it's been absolutely useful. If it wasn't for Nathan he wouldn't be here. He's just kept him bowling along every day. He never jogs and just keeps him on the go," said Jamieson.


Sundons Wish is out of Armbro Invasion mare Yule Ana which is out of Little Miss Watch. Little Miss Watch is the dam of a host of good winners including Sun Watch (7), Flying Hardwick (12), Aleana (6), Musgrove (16), Carnley (3) and Sunrise Delight (3).


Cleaver said some thought is being given to taking the gelding to Addington next Friday for the $40,000 Uncut Gems Trotters Classic where he would start off the front in the 2600 metre handicap race.  


Meanwhile Maidonthebeach increased her value as a broodmare when she cleared maiden ranks in the EH Ball ITM Building Centre Mobile Pace. She capitalised on a nice run behind the leader The Arbitrator and won easily by a length and three quarters.


She's a three year old filly by Somebeachsomewhere out of the cup class mare Nursemaid and is raced by Graeme and Jill Cooney, Vin Nally and the Centaurus Syndicate. 



Maidonthebeach beating TC Business (6) - Photo Bruce Stewart



Back to scale with trainer driver Hamish Hunter - Photo Bruce Stewart 







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