Harness Briefs - 30 January

Standout trotter retired

Former Group 1-winning trotter Sheemon has been retired.

The Kevin Townley-trained son of Monarchy made a return from injury this past spring, but failed to find the form that saw him win well over half-a-million dollars in stakes and 19 races.

“He came back and sound and everything was good but he was just down on ability from two years ago when he was one of the top ones,” said Townley of the eight-year-old.

Townley took him to the Westport over Christmas where he started twice off big handicaps.

“He could have won at Westport off 55 metres, but got stopped to a standstill and ended up giving them another 20 metres.

“He could have remained competitive in that lower grade but I wasn’t going to line him up ten times to try and drop back in class.

“He has been too good to us to do that to him.”

Sheemon retires the winner of four Group 1 races – the Anzac Cup and National Trot at Alexandra Park, the 4YO Ruby at the Cambridge Harness Jewels, and a heat of the Great Southern Star at Melton.

“He won his heat and was an absolute tragedy beaten in the final.

“Dexter Dunn had a stranglehold on him all the way up the straight.

“He would have been 100 percent to run second and would have gone very close to beating the winner, Stent.”

Townley looks back fondly on many moments in Sheemon’s career.

“We got a huge thrill winning the 2YO Trotting Championship at Addington – the first one is always something special.

“He went some mighty races, you know.

“He was unlucky in two or three big ones, but his luck won him a few as well, so it all evens out.”

Townley says his daughter, Hayley, has a friend that prepares horses for shows and that is probably where his immediate future lies.

“He’ll be very well looked after in retirement.”

Waikiki Beach makes winning debut in USA

Former New South Wales Derby winner Waikiki Beach made a winning debut in North America on Monday afternoon (NZ time), winning at Pompano Park, Florida.

The son of Somebeachsomewhere, who was trained down under by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, ran 1.51.8 after sitting ‘first over’ throughout.

He was purchased by clients of former Australian Ross Croghan when he returned Down Under on a holiday at New Zealand Cup time.

Waikiki Beach, an Australian-bred, swept all before him as a two and three-year-old, winning his first 19 starts in a row, all bar the first two of them across the Tasman.

He won five Group 1s, including the Derby and two Australasian Breeders Crown Finals.

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