Chance meeting leads to Todd’s treble
By Jonny Turner
A remarkable start to an owning and training combination kickstarted the first treble of Regan Todd’s career at Addington on Friday night.
Almost 12 months ago owner Scott Elliffe did not know Todd until the pair sat together on a bus tour ahead of the NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sales.
Clearly the owner and trainer got on well because less than ten days later they were in business together after securing an Art Major filly from former smart Southern mare Shezaball.
Six days short of a year later the filly, named Play Philly, got her career off on the same kind of footing Todd and Eliffe started off on when running to a debut victory.
“I sat beside Scott on the bus tour and we ended up buying a horse together and getting a winner, so it is pretty good,” Todd said.
Todd and Eliffe are not waiting for this year’s bus tour to decide whether or not to buy another yearling.
The pair already have plans to land another at the 2021 NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sales.
Play Philly’s win started a winning roll that continued with victories from Todd stable veterans Splash Cola and That Alexander Guy.
Thrilled with his first training treble, Todd deflected praise onto his staff.
“It is a big thrill, especially to do it at Addington, it is the hardest place to win them.”
“It is awesome, the staff put in an awesome effort.”
Both a member of staff and the stable’s race day driver, Robbie Close got more accolades for rating Todd’s trio to perfection.
“Robbie drove all of three of them inch-perfect,” Todd said.
“You might have thought That Alexander Guy would have gone back from his draw, but he took the bull by the horns early and put him in the race.”
“And that was the winning of it.”
Splash Cola did not just win her 11th race on Friday night, she absolutely smashed both the all-comers and the mares’ national standing start record for 2000m.
The 10-year-old’s 2-30.6 time bettered Call Me Now’s 1994 open mark of 2-31.7 and Rosie O’Grady’s 1992 mares’ mark of 2-32.7.
Splash Cola has produced most of her 11 career wins in summer or winter, with just one coming in spring.
The mare seems to have other things on her mind during that time of year, but gets her focus back on racing as the new year comes.
“This time of year she seems to come into her own,” Todd said.
“She is a monster around Cup Week, she is not very nice to train then.”
“She has been served this year too, but the vets were not that confident she was going to hold it.”
“She is due for another scan in a couple of weeks.”
That Alexander Guy completed the middle leg of Todd and Close’s treble with his eighth career win in Friday night’s feature pace.
The victory continued the pacer’s rise from humble beginnings to being a serious fast class Addington horse.
“I think only the last year or so he has strengthened up,” Todd said.
“He was always a tall, lean horse but now he has muscled up.”
Todd and Close team up just once more over the long weekend with Arden County starting in race 2 at Rangiora on Monday.