First winner for Highview Tommy


A trip home to New Zealand was made memorable for former Trackside presenter Cassie Fahey when her pacer Tombelina won at Motukarara on Sunday.

The three-year-old sprinted along the passing lane to register her sire Highview Tommy’s first win as a stallion.

That significant milestone was made even more special because Tombelina was bred by Hazel van Opzeeland, who raced Highview Tommy.

van Opzeeland was on hand to watch her former racetrack star notch up his first victory from the breeding barn and was just as thrilled as the winning owners, Fahey said.

“She was stoked, she actually said she was more excited about this win than when Highview Tommy won his first race because obviously this is the start of his stallion career.”

“It was great to have her there and we were very proud of our wee girl.”

Fahey’s father, Brian, who trains Tombelina, purchased the filly from van Opzeeland at the 2016 Weanling and All Age Sale in Christchurch in 2016 for the bargain price of $2100.

The trainer races the horse with daughters Cassie and Tess and wife, Mary. 

Cassie’s boyfriend, Adam Kent, also shares in Tombelina and he notched his first win as an owner with her on Sunday. 
Tombelina’s owners took inspiration from the Danish fairy tale Thumbelina when they named the daughter of five-race winner, Lynne Falcon.

“She got her name because when we got her she was so small you could just about fit her in your pocket.

“So, her name is a take on Thumbelina.

“We have just taken our time with her.
“She could have gone as a two-year-old, but she just had a bit of fizziness about her and just got a bit keen.

“She is a headstrong wee woman, but she can sprint up quite nicely, so we have been a bit excited about her coming through.’’

“But, because she is our own we can afford to take our time with her.”

Fahey’s departure from Trackside last month brought a departure from her hands-on work with Tombelina.

Living near Manly’s Northern beaches and working for Australia’s Sky Channel meant the horse’s reins were handed to sister, Tess, who now assists her father in training Tombelina.

“I was doing all the work with him and I bugger off and they start winning.

“Tess has taken over the reins, I don’t know if its her magic hands or not.”

Despite missing out on working with her pride and joy, Fahey has no regrets about her move to Sydney.

“It is same, same, but different - it is quite fast-paced.

“They have put me on a show on Thursday night, I am hosting Chasers and Pacers and I am really enjoying that.

“We are building up towards some exciting times with the Chariots Of Fire and the Miracle Mile, I am really looking forward to that.”

Tombelina is one of sixteen live foals from Highview Tommy’s first crop.

The 17-race winner has left a total of 58 live foals in New Zealand.

Six more of Highview Tommy’s progeny have been qualifiers ahead of their anticipated racetrack debuts.

The Bettor’s Delight stallion stands at Woodlands Stud with a modest stud fee of just $1500.

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