100-to-one outsider wins in Invercargill

by Bruce Stewart 

After the first two races at Invercargill on Saturday were won by favourites, the following race provided a major boilover with twelve start maiden Stunin Star winning at odds of 101-1.

It was the Stunin Cullen mare’s first run for new trainer Adrian Wohlers, having taken over from previous owner-trainer Richard Austin.

Driver Jeremy Douglas settled Stunin Star beyond midfield from her second line draw. At the five hundred the four-year-old was travelling, so as horses tried to improve Douglas made his move and Stunin Star cruised up to leader Chogi, holding on to win by a length from favourite Elouisa Dale which came late.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Jeremy. He’s an underrated driver. I’ve said to a number of people that’s there’s no-one better with a problem horse,” Wohlers said.

Prior to the start Wohlers made a number of gear changes, taking the overcheck off, adding an under check, taking off the tongue tie, adding a figure eight and bit lifter, taking the blinds off and adding fixed deafeners.

“I’ve been helping Ritchie for a couple of seasons and have been driving this mare. She’s got one bad problem. She won’t turn right, which can prove a bit awkward when they’re circling at the start. Ritchie said he’d have enough and was going to put her on Gavelhouse, and I said I wouldn’t mind having a go. I got her in great order, as fit as a buck rat and I’ve only had her for two weeks. So all credit to Ritchie,” said Wohlers.

Chiropractor Tommy Beckett has also done some work on Stunin Star.

“He’s been to her twice. She was very sore last week when he first came. He came this week, and she was a lot better.”

After seventeen years in the North Island working as an Orderly Supervisor at Waikato Hospital Wohlers has been back south for five years and now works at South Pacific Meats at Awarua. The job restricts his ability to train more than two horses at a time.

“You work ten hour days and time is half the problem. I don’t have the chance to develop young ones so that’s why I’ve concentrated on horses other people have given up on that could do with a change of scenery.”

So, at 101 to 1 was there any money to be made here?

“I’m not a betting man and didn’t have one cent on her but I did say to a number of people during the week that the mare was working unbelievably well and her recovery heart rate score was phenomenal. I thought if she went away and got a good trip she would get a wee bit of it but I didn’t expect her to go that good.”

The win was extra special for Wohlers as he inherited his late father Bert’s green and yellow colours.

“It’s always nice to win a race in Dad’s colours.”


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