A - Z New Zealand Cup : T
There are 7 days to the New Zealand Cup
From now to November 10 we will feature some of the great races, horses and personalities with a new letter for each day.
T = Trotting
The “grand old man of trotting”, as he was known, Freeman Holmes produced a unique New Zealand Cup double.
He rode Manton to win the 1888 New Zealand Cup at Riccarton and then trained and drove American import Trix Pointer to win the 1919 New Zealand Cup at Addington.
Born on a farm near Ashburton in 1871 he had his first ride as a 12 year old. When he won the Cup at Riccarton his weight was listed as 6 stone 10 lbs or 42 kilograms!
Known as “Old Free” he had eight children, with the Holmes name becoming one of the most famous in the sport. Free Holmes drove till he was 73 and trained well into his 80s.
He only won the NZ Trotting Cup once (and the Auckland Cup twice) while his son Maurice “The Maestro” Holmes won the NZ Cup three times in a career spanning nearly half a century.
He won with the dual gaited Wrackler in 1930, Chamfer in 1950 and Lookaway (1957). He also took out the Drivers premiership a record 18 times between 1931 and 1974.