Happy 21st to Take After Me

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

The wonder horse that is Take After Me racked up his 21st win at Oamaru yesterday.

And if you thought at 13 years old that the dual-gaited veteran would be feeling the effects of what was start number 360, think again.

"We drove home after the races yesterday and this morning he was tearing around the place like a stupid thing," says North Canterbury-based trainer Fred Scott.

"He was missing his usual mate in the paddock and was singing out and carrying on."

It was a copybook drive from John Morrison that was critical to Take After Me's win in Race 5, the Robbie Crawford, Mortgage Adviser at Lifetime Trot.

The combo started well, took up a trailing spot behind Illegal Alien then took advantage of the passing lane to come clear by three quarters of a length. Take After Me paid $13.10 for the win.

It was his 236th trotting start to go with the 124 he had as a pacer.

"We were a bit surprised he won, we thought he could place," says Scott, "but he drew two, started well and ran home very well."

It was one of three winning drives for the day for Morrison, along with Smart I Am and Nubliah Chamay, while Sam Ottley also had a treble, with Igetakickoutofyou, Helloveamoment and Raging Whitebait.

Ottley went close to making it four with Smoke On The Water's second in the Whitestone Livestock Waimate Cup but he was worn down in a stirring finish by favourite Mo'unga, who made it win number five from just 13 starts.

As for Take After Me his 21st win was just another milestone for a horse who has become a real crowd favourite.

Bred and raced by Fred and wife Jan, Take After Me has raced every season since he was a three-year-old and now has 17 wins as a trotter to go with his four as pacer.

"He just thrives on racing and work," says Fred.

"It's not like the two us, we are slowing down but he doesn't seem to be."

Under Harness Racing New Zealand rules there is no upper age limit for horses racing in this country and judging from yesterday's performance Take After Me has plenty of racing left in him. His next start is likely to be at Banks Peninsula next Monday.

Stats : Take After Me (13 b g Holmes Hanover - Give Or Take)

Total starts : 360

Pacing 124 starts - 4 wins
Trotting 236 starts - 17 wins

Lifetime earnings : $280,064

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