Zealand Star Wins At Odds
 (Sunday 18th February 2018)

Bruce Stewart

“He just needed time. At three he was quite weak. He’s got plenty of gas if you can save him for it. He’s finally clicked onto it,” said trainer Brett Gray after Zealand Star, at odds of 39-1, upset in the Employ a Master Plumber Mobile Pace.

The four year old has struck a purple patch of form winning three of his last five starts.

He was bought by the Butterworth Racing Syndicate out of Clark Barron’s stable after impressing at workouts.

He qualified for Gray at Wyndham a year ago, running second behind Honour Scroll but it took him nearly a year to win his first race at Roxburgh.

“When we bought him off Clark he went pretty well at workouts. He was quite good at home but he couldn’t do an ounce of work. It just took him time to mature. Some of them just can’t run at three.”

Interestingly enough Honour Scroll also won today. Both horses, at some point in their careers, have been owned by Bryleigh Stud’s Keith and Tracey Norman. They bred Zealand Star out of their Village Jasper mare Royal Spin and they own Honour Scroll which is trained by Keith’s brother Brian. Both are out of Bryleigh Studs' resident stallion Washington VC.

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A grin from driver Craig Thornley says it all - Zealand Star beating stable mate Young Conqueror (7) - Photo Bruce Stewart.

 

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Back to the winners circle - Photo Bruce Stewart. 

 

Gray's other horse Young Conqueror ran second, storming home to get within three quarters of a length of his stablemate.

“I was really happy with him. He got quite crock at Cup Week so I’m happy that he’s bouncing back. He’s come from last and just went super.”

As with a lot of the Butterworth owned horses, Zealand Star will eventually race in Australia but Gray says he needs to talk to Merv Butterworth about a $20,000 race the four year old is now eligible for at the Northern Southland Trotting Club meeting in the middle of March.

“He's better off staying here with the Nuggets Super Final coming up.”

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