Half-sisters quinella Robin Dundee Crown


In a fitting memorial to their now departed mum, half-sisters Especial and Envious formed the quinella in the prestigious Arden Lodge Robin Dundee Crown at Ascot Park on Saturday afternoon.

Bred and raced by Kenny and Jo Baynes, the pair are out of Especial Franco, who died just before Christmas along with the A Rocknroll Dance colt she was carrying.

“It was a messy birth,” Jo Baynes said.

“She is buried at Macca Lodge and might get a monument now.”

Kenny Baynes said he was always keen on the breed and had earlier bought Especial Franco's fifth foal Extra Special Iam, was an under-bidder at the sales on her sixth, Equalizer, and the year of the earthquake attempted by phone to acquire Expressionist.

“Not long after the sales, the mare was advertised in the Harness Weekly so we bought her,” he said.

Envious, by Changeover, was the first foal bred by the Baynes’ and as a juvenile, in January three years ago, made a winning debut at Ascot Park.

Second home was Gotta Bewitched, also owned by Kenny Baynes, so quinellas aren't new to him.

He got another when Jody Direen and Major League were first and second in a three-horse non-tote event at Gore in 2015.

A year after Envious, her dam produced Especial who is trained by Tony Stratford.

She is the winner of three from six and according to her trainer has a lot of upside.

“She's a pretty good horse; she’s got unreal speed and can stay a bit,” he said of the four-year-old who led for most of the last lap in the hands of Dexter Dunn.

“She is still green - Dexter said she goofed around a bit but won with still more to give.”

Especial raced successfully at Addington during the winter in the South Of Waitaki series until the final.

“She had three runs in four weeks and was a bit jaded for the final,” said Stratford.

“That she has done what she did today on just one trial is testament to her ability.

“I haven't decided where she will race next but I won't over-race her.”

Jo Baynes trains Envious and concedes Especial has more potential, but feels the three quarters of a length margin between the two today was fair.

“There is not much between them but Especial is still green and Envious more professional,” she said.

It doesn't apply to her work though.

“I have to work her by herself, she tries to race when worked in company.”

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