Darbys record first training success
By Brigette Solomon
The father and son training partnership of Ray and Jeff Darby had their first winner at Cambridge Raceway last night with Neymar taking out Race 2, the Dunstan 100% New Zealand Mobile Pace.
To make it extra special Jeff Darby was also the successful driver, in the amateur drivers' event.
It was a patient and composed drive from Darby who dropped Neymar back to settle last on the fence after starting from barrier 8. Neymar enjoyed an easy trip before coming off the markers just after the 400 metre mark to sprint home down the outside for a comfortable win.
“It’s my first season as a trainer and it was nice to get the first win with Neymar and to have driven him too,” says Jeff Darby.
“Dad and I not only train the horse together but also own him, he’s not been the easiest so the win should help build his confidence.”
Drivers Andre Poutama and David Butcher also scored double driving successes at last night’s meeting.
Poutama’s first win came in Race 1, the Dunstan Horse Feeds Handicap Trot, with the Ival Brownlee-trained Emily Bay who led from start to finish to win by three lengths.
Poutama’s second winner came by way of Beaudiene Rocknroll with another front running drive in Race 6, the Dunstan Speedfeed Mobile Pace over 1700m. Major Achievement finished second giving Ray Green the quinella with his only two starters for the night.
Butcher’s first success of the night came from Caulfield in Race 5, who he also trains.
“He’s a lovely, honest horse with a heap of owners in him so it was great for them to get win number five with him,” says Butcher.
It was a tough win by the four-year-old gelding who briefly trailed after leaving the gate before coming round to lead. With the last half run in 57.5s Caulfield fought hard to the line to win when challenged by Bad Medicine (2nd) and Katie’s Princess (3rd).
Butcher ended the night with a win on Turnpike Joe, trained by Arna Donnelly, in Race 7, the Merry Christmas from Dunstan Mobile Pace over 2200m. It was the Raging Bull gelding’s third start after two fourths at Manawatu a fortnight ago.
“He won well, the trip to Palmerston North seems to have been good for him,” says Butcher.