Harrington welcomes Group One elevation for Trotting Oaks

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

The elevation of the New Zealand Trotting Oaks to Group 1 level has been welcomed by Canterbury horseman Jack Harrington.

“It has been something that has needed to happen for a long time,” Harrington said.

“There needed to be more Group racing for trotting fillies and mares to get people breeding more and raising the interest in the trotters.”

Harrington got a taste for elite-level success when Renezmae was victorious in the Group 1 Breeders’ Crown 2YO Trotting Fillies Final (2240m) and he is hoping for more with Miss Yo in the ‘What The Hill’ At Woodlands-sponsored Trotting Oaks at Addington Raceway on Friday.

Harrington co-bred and co-owns the filly, who is out of Group 2 winner Toomuch To Do, the dam of Group 1 winner Bolt For Brilliance and Group One performer Hey Yo.

Harrington would like Miss Yo to match the feats of her siblings, with a Group 1 result adding further value to her future broodmare career.

Miss Yo features heavily in Harrington’s future breeding plans, particularly with the issues they have had with her half-sister Hey Yo.

“Hey Yo hasn’t had much luck in the breeding barn,” Harrington said.

“Her first foal died and then she missed, and her foal died this year. She is now unable to carry a foal because of damage to her uterus. We are still able to do embryo transfers out of her, so that is going to be her future from now on.

“Miss Yo has got some potential now, so hopefully we can get some black-type and continue the family’s good name.”

Miss Yo is one of two foals Harrington has bred out of Toomuch To Do, with his mating selection heavily influenced by his father’s ownership interests.

“We had Hey Yo, she was one of the first horses I had. After Brad Reid bred Bolt For Brilliance, Tracey Healy, who owns Toomuch To Do, got in touch with me to see if I wanted to take over the lease for a couple of years,” Harrington said.

“My father, Dave, owned a share in Peak, so we got a couple of free services out of that.

“We bred two Peaks out of her. The first was a gelding (Stanley James), which didn’t meet the criteria, but this filly seems to go really nice.”

Miss Yo has won two of her 18 starts and is rated a $41 chance for Friday’s feature with TAB bookmakers.

“She has drawn well (2) but realistically she can’t cross Minnie McGoogan if she gets out nicely,” Harrington said.

“It is one of those races where if she can get some cover and they run hard, she proved in the Southland Oaks that she does find the line well.”

Harrington will also line-up last start runner-up Ti Amo Belle in the Trotting Oaks, with the daughter of Love You rated a $18 winning chance with bookmakers.

“My mother owns a share in Ti Amo Belle as well,” Harrington said.

“It is just a shame with the draw (15) that she got, but in saying that there are a couple of other favoured runners on the second line.

“If she could find the back of one of them and get a cart into the race, hopefully she can be running on and filling a top four or five spot.”

Harrington is also looking forward to lining up four-year-old mare Salvo in the Group 2 Continental Event Hire Trotting Mares Handicap Trot (2600m).

The Love You mare is another set to join Harrington’s burgeoning broodmare band and a good result on Friday would be more than welcome.

“She has been a bit disappointing in her last couple of preps. As a three-year-old she had some hard racing against the likes of Five Wise Men and Time Up The Hill,” Harrington said.

“It probably took a toll on her a little bit. She went a great race in the Northern Trotting mares race. She tends to perform well over 2600m and further against those better horses.

“If the speed is on in that race and she is parked up doing no work, hopefully she can find a bit of form she had 12 months ago. If she goes a good race and finishes in the top four or five, we would be rapt.

“She is a Love You mare with a great pedigree, being related to Sundon. She is looking at the breeding barn in the next couple of years. We will just let her tell us with how her racing goes.”

While Harrington is looking forward to taking a bigger step into breeding in the coming years, he is excited about heading to the yearling sales next year where he will offer the first foal out of his Group One winner Renezmae.

“We have got a filly out of Renezmae, her first foal, by Father Patrick going through the sales,” Harrington said.

“With her being a Group One winner, hopefully she attracts a bit of interest.”

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