Blenheim triple threat for Austin
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Rodger Austin is having the time of his life up at the top of the South Island this week.
On Sunday he enjoyed a quinella and another placing at Nelson before he was able to enjoy the weather and hospitality on offer in the region ahead of Marlborough’s two-day meeting commencing at Waterlea Raceway on Friday.
“We have stayed right through in Nelson and came through to Blenheim today (Thursday),” Austin said.
“It’s a chance to have a bit of a holiday as well seeming as we can’t get overseas at the moment.
“It has been beautiful here, it has been nice and warm every day. We have been to Rabbit Island and spent a day there, it has been great.”
Austin is looking forward to backing up three runners in the AJ Best Contracting/Maisie’s Holding Vineyard Handicap Trot (2400m) on Friday after their pleasing results last weekend.
Idle Stuartia and Mikemaro secured a stable quinella in their 2400m event, while stablemate BJ Lindenny placed in his 2400m contest.
Austin said Idle Stuartia has pulled up well after her win and he was rapt that she was able to breakthrough for her fourth career win after a series of placings.
“She is a good, honest mare and she was rewarded on Sunday. She is a good beginner and gets herself into a good position. She went a good race and she is as bright as a button after the race,” Austin said.
The daughter of Superfast Stuart hasn’t placed on the grass in seven attempts, but that poses no concerns for Austin ahead of Friday.
“She hasn’t gone bad on the grass,” he said. “She has had a few fourths but has had no placings. But the grass won’t worry her.”
Mikemaro is set to thrive on the grass, having won four of his five races on the surface.
“The grass is more his go,” Austin said. “As long as he gets away and gets into a nice position because I don’t think he can come from too far back in the field.”
The pair will be met on Friday by stablemate BJ Lindenny who Austin thinks could be his barn’s best chance in the race.
“He went a good race on Sunday and he might even be the best of the three of them,” he said.
“He was racing in a class above those two at Nelson and his go is really on the grass.
“I haven’t had him long but he has won most of his races on the grass. He should go a good race.”