From the calving shed to the winner’s circle
By Josh Smith - Harness News Desk
With calving in full swing John Godfrey has been kept busy on his Roto O Rangi dairy farm, but he was delighted to get off his property on Thursday night to watch his pride and joy, Bodrum Boy, win the Bruntwood Equestrian – Horse Agistment Mobile Pace (2200m) at Cambridge Raceway.
It was the second career victory for the rising six-year-old after he made a perfect start to his racing career in May when winning on debut at the Waikato track.
The son of American Ideal subsequently ran third before two unplaced runs and Godfrey said he was particularly disappointed with his last start 10th placing.
“I was a bit mystified last start, I couldn’t figure out why he went so bad,” Godfrey said.
“He has had a bit of an infection in his front hoof since then and we have put pads on him now and I think that has helped him.
“He definitely handles it a lot better with the pads because Maurice (McKendry, driver) said he drove beautifully straight tonight.
“We left the overcheck off as well as he doesn’t really need one. He is just such a nice horse to deal with.”
While he is kept busy on his farm, Godfrey said he likes the distraction of being able to work his horse on his 350m home track, which became invaluable during the COVID-19 enforced lockdown.
“Prior to lockdown I was going to Waipa and working him on the grass as I was going to start him at Hawera,” Godfrey said.
“But because of COVID-19 I just worked him around my own track and after lockdown I went out to Luk Chin’s track at Tamahere.
“He was fit for his debut run.”
Godfrey farms on his family’s Waikato property and he said that is where he developed a love for the standardbred and racing.
“My father had a horse called Prince Tartan,” Godfrey said. “That’s the first horse I drove and he was a real big horse, he was 17.5 hands.
“I worked him and that’s how I got started and developed my passion for racing. I have always had an interest.”
Meanwhile, local junior driver Dylan Ferguson has added more spice to this weekend’s New Zealand Junior Drivers Championship at Addington Raceway when he recorded two wins on Thursday night.
He was victorious behind Miss Slippers in the Melanie At Harcourts Birthday Handicap Trot (2200m) and Meetmeinsorrento in the ‘Lather Up’ At Woodlands Stud Mobile Pace (2200m), both for employer Graeme Rogerson.
The winning double has brought Ferguson within two wins of premiership leader John Morrison, creating a nail-biting finish to the season for the junior ranks. – Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk