Davis delighted with Cup win

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Rob Davis has been involved in harness racing for many years, but he is having the time of his life in the sport at present courtesy of his stable star Buckskin.

The Greendale horseman acquired the son of American Ideal off former employer James Geddes after the latter was culling his numbers, and he said leasing the gelding has been one of the best decisions he has made.

“I worked for James Geddes for a number of years, initially milking cows,” Davis said.

“He knew I had been involved in racing a long time before that and he asked me one day if I would got and give him a hand with the horses one day, which I did and continued to do so for about five years.

“After I left doing that, he was cutting back his numbers and Buckskin was available for lease with a right of purchase and we have had a great ride since.”

Davis took out his license four years ago to train Buckskin and in that time he has recorded all nine of Davis’ wins, highlighted by Sunday’s victory in the Hororata Cup (3000m) at Methven.

He was handled perfectly throughout by driver Sarah O’Reilly, stalking second favourite Franco Norton before coming off his back in the straight and showed a great turn of foot to run away to a three-quarter length victory over Homebush Lad.

“He is right in the zone at the moment,” Davis said.

“They ran their last half in 56.4 and that is really good on that grass track.

“Sarah drove him really well. He was following that good horse of McRaes (Franco Norton) and ran home well.

“He was full of running last start, he never saw daylight at all at Rangiora (when third). We were confident that if he got a run he would be in the finish today (Sunday).”

The Country Cups Final is now firmly in Davis’ sights, with the all-weather surface his only concern.

“He is a grass horse, but you don’t turn down an opportunity to race in those type of races, so we will have to go on the grit at some stage,” he said.

“He has won two on the grit, so he is not completely hopeless on the surface.”

Davis’ involvement in the industry extends to his childhood and he continues a strong lineage of participation in the sport by his family.

“I have been in racing all of my life,” he said. “I used to work for Harness Racing New Zealand many years ago, I was a handicapper and then keeper of the stud book.

“I worked there for 13 years and I intended taking out my license after I left but I just never got around to it until four years ago.

“The colours I race in are my great grandfathers and they were racing around Canterbury back in the 1890s.

“My grandfather raced good horses and my Dad was initially racing secretary and then CEO of Addington Raceway for a number of years.

“It’s a pleasure to train a horse like Buckskin. He is a nice horse to do anything with. He tries his heart out every time he goes out there.”


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