Lazarus’ baby bro makes winning debut

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Fancy the half-brother of Lazarus going out third favourite on debut and paying $5.50 for a win.

Well that was the story of the first at Gore this morning (Saturday) when Artstanding, the son of Art Major and Bethany, produced a finishing burst that overwhelmed his six two-year-old opponents.

Offered at the 2017 Premier Sale, the colt was knocked down to the $120,000 bid of Weedons trainer Nigel McGrath, who secured him for David and Bronwyn Renwick.

Speedy trotter Ready Set was among the better performers McGrath has trained for the Renwicks.

“He's got big shoes to fill,” McGrath said of Artstanding.

“It's taken a while to get him gaited up but he's always shown he's got a big engine.

“I won't race him again this time; he'll go out now and come back for the good three-year old races.”

Winning driver Blair Orange made it two later in the day when four-year-old trotter Pres The Belle gained her fourth win from her past five starts.

Trained at Mosgiel by Darryn Simpson, the mare started the day as 16th on the leaderboard for the Jewels but the $5500 first prize was enough to promote her to the 12.

“We've left it a bit late but we'd definitely think about going (to the Jewels) if she stays in” Simpson said.

The colours, ownership and some of the breeding of Franco Ledger were in evidence when Schweinsteiger quit the ranks of non-winners at his third start.

The three-year-old is trained by Hamish Hunter and raced by him in partnership with the What Ever Syndicate.

That same combination enjoyed much success with Franco Ledger, a son of Falcon Seelster.

“Schweinsteiger was the only Falcon Seelster in the (2016 Premier) sale, it was a sympathy bid but there was one astute advisor in our group,” Hunter said of the $16,000 purchase.

“He qualified at two but wasn't that big so we have taken him quietly.”

The former Steven McRae-trained Little Rain was another to quit maidens at her third start. Prepared now by Tony Stratford, the four-year-old was Dexter Dunn's third winner of the day.

“I haven't had her long, Steve rang and said she might be better down here,” Stratford said.

“She went out second favourite at Addington (on 20 April) at her first start and finished sixth so she was ready to go when she arrived.

“One of her breeders and owners, Lorraine Dawe, is from Southland.”

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