Taranaki Cup to Classie American


Classie American took one step closer to winning the new Northern Country Cups Championship with a victory in Thursday’s $11,000 Revital Fertilisers Taranaki Cup.

There are just four races left in the series, including Sunday’s Stratford Cup, and Classie American now holds a distinct advantage over Black Chevron.

With Black Chevron missing the Stratford Cup, Te Awamutu trainer Ron Richardson has decided he probably will line up Classie American to further extended his advantage in the race for the title and a $6,000 bonus.

“We were sort of tossing up and ended up coming home with the horse as we didn’t think we’d go to Stratford.

“But it’s Keith’s home town and we’ve decided we will go back down.”

Keith is Keith Hasler, a co-owner of Classie American who also has a lot to do with the training of the horse.

Richrdson credits Hasler for the excellent behavior and manners of their horse, who recently won the Otaki Cup and placed in the Tauranga, Wellington and Manawatu equivalents.

“He’s just such a lovely horse- nice and quiet and doesn’t get upset about anything.

“And that’s because Keith is so patient and doesn’t rush them.

“In the end it just makes so much difference when a horse isn’t getting wound up.”

The two-day meeting brings back a lot of memories for both Richardson and Hasler.

“Keith’s from Stratford and I’m from Taranaki,” said Richardson.

“Keith’s father actually trained for my wife’s parents many years ago.

“And I was on the original committee in Taranaki that set up the all-weather track and that’s got to be at least 35 years ago.

“So, winning the Taranaki Cup was pretty special, really.”

Classie American is now one placing away from $50,000 in stakes and over $31,000 of that has come this season.

Not that Richardson expects to have it for too long.

“I was just on the phone planning with a travel agent planning a trip to South Africa with my grandkids.

“So, I need to keep winning these cups if I want to pay for it.”

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