A night Green will never forget
By Garrick Knight
Steve Green will never forget the day he knew he had a decent trotter.
Because it was the same day that he thought he was going to die.
That trotter, Recycle, cleared maidens at Alexandra Park on Friday night, endorsing recent placings and solid trial form.
Green, an electrician who trains a few horses on a small track in Pukekawa, half an hour south of Pukekohe, was over the moon.
“It was a pretty special night. An emotional night,” he told HRNZ.
“Seeing Andre (Poutama, driver) get out of the cart to have his photo taken with the horse after all we’ve been through with him.
“I was pretty emotional. I’ll cherish that photo until the day I die.
“And I didn’t get much sleep last night after the race; I was up looking at programmes.”
Recycle, a four-year-old son of Monkey Bones, was close to being sacked a number of times.
So much so that Green believes if he was with any other trainer, he probably wouldn’t be around anymore.
“It took me about two years to make him. That’s the long and the short of it.
“I’d sacked him twice and he was having his last run one day when the bit broke.”
It’s a day Green will never forget.
“The only thing I could think of was I was going to die.
“I’ve only got a small track here and the bastard just kept increasing and increasing his speed.
“After ten rounds he finally stopped and turned around.
“After 15 minutes of sweating and shaking – me not the horse – I took the gear off him and he didn’t have a mark on him.
“From that day on I knew I had something.”
Green has pottered around with a modicum of success for many years, but before Friday, he’d never won a race with a trotter.
He hadn’t even lined one up for seven years.
“My partner, Sue (England), always wanted a Monkey Bones grey horse and we tried to get two or three but missed.
“Then we found this one but he wasn’t grey.
“The deal was if she got it, she would work it. Well that didn’t really pan out,” he joked.
Driver Andre Poutama has warned Green that the next grade up for trotters at Auckland is a stiff rise, so he’s considering an alternative, for more than one reason.
“I haven’t been able to go to Cambridge with him because it’s taken nine months to get him going that way around.
“But he did it twice this week and trotted absolutely faultlessly.
“I don’t want to go straight back to Auckland, so I’m thinking of something a little easier.
“And I remember Gary Hillier saying to me a trip away can make a horse.”
Next stop? Palmerston North.
“I think that would be logical.”
Green says a few potential buyers have been ‘kicking tyres’ but not exactly endearing themselves to him.
“Some of the prices have been a bit of a lottery but no one has actually fronted up with the money.
“Most of them say, imagine what he’ll do in another stable.
“And I say, well, he wouldn’t be here if he had been in another stable.”