Forty Wives delivers deserved success

By Jonny Turner

Veteran pacer Forty Wives delivered well-earned reward for the Sinnamon family when clinching his first victory in his 64th start at Cromwell yesterday.

Trained by Central Otago’s only horse trainer – 85-year-old Lionel Sinnamon – the eight-year-old fought determinedly to win race 4.

The Sinnamon family are the driving force behind the hugely popular Omakau trots which were again a highlight of the New Year’s harness racing circuit on Monday.

Lionel Sinnamon trains his small team at the Omakau racecourse, with son Graham the President of the Central Otago Trotting Club.

Alongside their fellow club and committee members, father and son and their family put huge effort into their local club’s annual harness meeting, which ranks as one of the most-attended and bet-on race days in New Zealand.

Lionel Sinnamon described Forty Wives finally being able to land his maiden win yesterday as something of a miracle.

“If you hang in there long enough, miracles do happen.”

“Everyone who had driven the horse has said to me he would win one, but I was starting to wonder.”

“For him to be able to do it today – it caps the meeting at Omakau nicely.”

Sinnamon was thrilled that his family, who shares in the horse’s ownership, we able to be on course to enjoy yesterday’s win.

Forty Wives come to the Sinnamon stable as something of a cast off after failing to impress in Canterbury.

But the well-behaved pacer has the right temperament to be the perfect pacer for his veteran trainer.

“It gets me out of bed in the morning, I have always enjoyed it but it is something that I can still do.”

“I can’t play rugby or tennis and I have a bit of a bad knee so I can’t play golf.”

“But I can train horses.”

When holding out the late finish of Smart I Am under the urgings of driver Kerryn Tomlinson, Forty Wives registered Lionel Sinnamon’s first training victory since Allandale won at Addington in 2020.

The trainer was left the sole trainer in the Central Otago region after Ginger Woodhouse retired from training last year.

Woodhouse has remained actively involved in the Central Otago Trotting Club since and is also a big contributor to Omakau’s annual race meeting.

A freakish incident led to Brent Barclay producing a brilliant drive to win yesterday’s Cromwell Cup with Franco Norton.

The horse was to be driven by Craig Thornley but he was unable to take up his engagement after he was tipped from the sulky of Airwaves earlier in the meeting.

One of Airwaves’ sulky tyres blew and it became entangled in a front leg of the trailing Still Rockin in an extraordinarily rare incident.

Franco Norton made a brilliant beginning for Barclay who took him to the lead early in yesterday’s feature.

And from there the Steven McRae trained pacer never looked in doubt.


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