$2400 in Teal Donations at Oamaru
By Jonny Turner
Photo courtesy of the Oamaru Harness Racing Club
Waikouaiti mare Sheeza Sport helped raise money for ovarian cancer research and earned herself a reprieve from retirement when winning at Oamaru on Saturday.
The Amber Hoffman-trained pacer defied her $18 win odds when rattling home from deep on the inner to win race 7 for driver Charlotte Purvis.
Purvis was one of four women who combined to win six races wearing teal driving pants as part of Harness Racing New Zealand’s Team Teal Campaign.
Sheree Tomlinson led the charge with three wins.
Samantha Ottley and Jessica Grant-Young each notched wins to contribute to the ovarian cancer research drive.
Each win in the sulky by women drivers results in a donation of $400 to the campaign, which runs until March 15.
Hoffman had not given Sheeza Sport a big hope of helping Purvis contribute to Saturday’s $2400 total.
"Her work during the week was pretty average and coming into the race and I thought she might be heading towards retirement," Hoffman said.
"But she got a soft run and she just kept taking the gaps for Charlotte.
"So she won’t be getting retired just yet."
Hopes for the 5yr-old, who is raced by the trainer and stable employee Madeline Seuseu-Musgrave, took a 180 degree turn following her win.
The victory was penalty-free, which meant Sheeza Sport can still compete against the same kind of horses she beat in her next run.
"The way she won, you would think she might be able to pick up another win in her next few starts," Hoffman said.
Hoffman won the next event when she produced Kiwi Crusher to win race 8.
The 6yr-old was among the winning treble Sheree Tomlinson produced to contribute $1200 to the total.
Kiwi Crusher produced a swooping win to make it two victories and second and fifth placings from four starts for her new trainer.
Hoffman took the mare on after she was bought by Invercargill owner Art Shirley out of Graeme Anderson’s Westwood Beach stable.
"Art is mates with Andrew Suddaby, who works for me," Hoffman said.
"He does a lot of the work with her and she seems to have settled into a pretty good routine since she got her."
Anderson produced Da Moon’s Mission to run second to Kiwi Crusher.
Hoffman’s winners will get the chance to continue their form on the Oamaru grass when her home club, the Waikouaiti Trotting Club, races at the North Otago track on Sunday and Tuesday of next week.
Hoffman’s winning double came after she produced Zedaam to run third in the Invercargill Gold Cup at Ascot Park.
The 5yr-old ran home strongly from beyond midfield after suffering interference early in the race.
Tomlinson combined with her grandfather, Ken Ford, in her two remaining wins on Saturday.
The reinswoman drove Uno Mia to win race and Rocknpop to win race 10 in Ford’s colours.
Ford and Hoffman joined Weedons trainer Chris McDowell in training a winning double at the Oamaru meeting.
McDowell prepared Play Dough to win race 1 and Barkley to win race 2.
Both were driven by Leo O’Reilly.