Record breaks three-times

By Mach Henry

The 1800 metre mobile-start grass-track record at Gore was broken three times on Sunday.

But it wasn't the case of some great technological advance in surface preparation, rather that in the modern era, only ten races have been run from that starting point.

It was used for the first time 12 months ago and the track record was held by three different horses that day as well.

First to lower the record was Smithy, trained at Burnham by Jamie Gameson who plans to race the three-year-old at Winton next week in order to qualify for the Southern Supremacy Stakes.

The colt is named after his Canterbury Breeder Johnny Smith who died about two years ago.

Smith's widow Nikki, trainer Gameson and wife Natalie, Robin Beeby, Peter Burt and Ken Hainsworth race Smithy who will be considered for a start in the New Zealand Derby if he continues to perform well.

Smithy paced the trip in 2:23.7 and was driven by Stephen McNally who earlier in the day won with another Canterbury visitor, Glendaloch.

Even Flo bettered Smithy's time by nearly two seconds, stopping the clock at 2:21.8.

Bred and owned by Neil Timms and trained at Macca Lodge by Tony Stratford, Even Flo was the only winner on the day for inform driver Craig Ferguson.

Electronic timing showed that Applause went five 100ths of a second faster in the final race, 2:21.81 against 2:21.86 but harness racing convention is to credit them both with 2:21.8.

Applause was having his first start for West Plains trainer Matt Saunders, having previously been with Bob Butt who had produced him 14 times and he'd been only four time further back than fifth.

Applause and Smithy are both by Mach Three, sire also of Gore Grass Cup winner Belkmyster who relished the 30 metre handicap in the C3 to C8 contest.

Three starts earlier, he'd had to go from 40 behind in the C4 to OC Invercargill Cup and missed out to Johnny Fox (20 metres) by just three quarters of a length.

As a result of the Gore win, Belkmyster has gone to a C9 rating, upsetting trainer Graeme Anderson's plans to run him in next week's $15,000 Winton Cup which like Gore, is a C3 to C8 contest.

Rory McIlwrick drove both Pegasus Kommander and Johan's Jet to victory and both are by Jereme's Jet.

Pegasus Kommander was backing up from Forbury Park on Thursday night where he was driven by John Dunn and unlucky not to have finished closer than fifth.

 Johan's Jet is trained at Nightcaps by Jack Lynch for a long-time owner Dave Marshall.

He cleared out in the straight after starting from the outside of the second line in the mobile-start 2600 metre contest.

Another to drive a double was Matthew Williamson, beginning with Pat Campbell in the non-tote event for two year old fillies.

Raced by her Burnham trainer Bruce Negus in partnership with long-time owner (Miss) Pat Campbell, the filly had finished fifth in the group three Leonard Memorial Stakes at Addington at her first start.

Negus said Pat Campbell will stay in the south in order to gain experience and earn money for the Jewels.

She might race at Winton next week and the $25,000 group three Caduceus Club Of Southland and Nevele R Stud Classic a week later.

The other win for Williamson was on Mr Majestic.

Like Pegasus Kommander, he was backing up from Forbury Park on Thursday night but unlike Pegasus Kommander he'd spoilt his chance galloping early.

Williamson said he did everything perfectly at Gore.

Ruby's Jewel, by Sundon from a half-sister to glamour performers One Kenny, One Under Kenny and One Over Kenny, won another of the day's trots.

She was co-bred, co-owned , trained and driven by Bruce Wallace who won with her dam Shouldn't Do It, at Wyndham in November 2006.

The Stag's Roar, fresh from a win on grass at Motukarara, won on the grass at Gore.

He is trained by Steven McRae at West Melton and might call in at Waikouaiti on 17 March for another race on the grass before going home.

Two 1000 metre saddle events were held at the meeting with Sage and Genevieve Crawford winning the pacer's contest and Larch, with John McKay aboard, taking out the section for trotters.