Christen Me hits half ton in USA

by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Christen Me's heroics in North America have got us thinking.

The former New Zealand Horse of the Year, owned by Dexter Dunn, chalked up win career number 50 over the weekend at Miami Valley Raceway in Ohio.

Now based in the USA, the champion driver claimed Christen Me for $US30,000 in September last year saying at the time - “I feel like I’m his family. He’s from back home and I’m from back there. He was Horse of the Year one year and to say that I own him now, that’s pretty cool."

Christen Me was an 11-time Group One winner in New Zealand and Australia, with his 32 wins in 58 starts including the Miracle Mile, Auckland Cup, Victoria Cup, Hunter Cup and the Easter Cup.

“The horse means a lot to me as he won every major race in Australasia for me. When he was four and five he was unbelievable. His speed was phenomenal.”

His longevity has also been remarkable - now 13 he started racing as a two-year-old in 2011. The weekend's victory was his 18th in North America.

Fifty wins is an incredible achievement for any horse, and from what we can glean from Harness Racing New Zealand records it's a milestone that no horse, including Christen Me, has been able to do racing exclusively in this country.

Lyell Creek, for instance, had 56 career victories, winning 28 of them in this country while the great Cardigan Bay won 80 races in total, of which 29 were in New Zealand and the remaining 51 were overseas.

Delightful Lady tops the all-time NZ list with 47 wins, from 1977 to the mid 1980s.

The list of the top 50 winners in New Zealand includes two horses that are currently racing - champion trotter Sundees Son, who has won 27 races from 61 starts, and Temporale, who has won 24 times in this country. 

Horse Name                 Number of Wins

Delightful Lady             47
Lordship                       45
Idle Scott                     45
Sir Castleton                 39
Robalan                        39
Easton Light                  36
Blossom Lady                36
Tussle                           36
Luxury Liner                  35
Young Quinn                  35
Monkey King                  35
Take A Moment              33
Jenner                          33
Bonnie's Chance            32
Hands Down                  31
Christopher Vance         31
Directorship                  30
Landora's Pride             30
I Can Doosit                 30
Terror To Love               30
Scotch Tar                    29
Moment Of Truth           29
Cardigan Bay                29
Sly Flyin                       28
David Moss                   28
Sovereignty                  28
Caduceus                     28
Arapaho                       28
Lyell Creek                   28
Johnny Gee                  27
The Fiery Ginga            27
Chokin                         27
Sundees Son                27
Auckland Reactor          27
Comedy Lad                 27
Sundon                        27
Il Vicolo                       26
One Over Kenny           26
Lazarus                       26
Nigel Craig                  26
Christen Me                 26
Noodlum                     26
Lord Module                26
Robin Dundee             25
About Now                  25
Some Direction           25
Master Mood               25
Thriller Dee                 24
Basil Dean                  24
Great Adios                24
Temporale                   24



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