Harwood back in winners circle

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Clevedon trainer Glen Harwood was back in the winner’s circle at Cambridge last night, recording his first win in nearly four years.

Shes Pukka, a daughter of Betterthancheddar, out-sprinted a handy field of predominantly boys to record her maiden success.

Harwood and his wife, Emma, purchased the filly as a weanling out of the Karaka mixed sale in the winter of 2016 for just $2,500.

“I had sold my last winner, Monterey Jack, and thought it was just a way to keep the old hobby going.

“It’s a lot cheaper to buy weanlings than yearlings and I’ve gone back the next two years and bought two more.

“She was the first one I bought and she looks like being alright.”

The name Shes Pukka (pronounced ‘pucker’) comes from British chef Jamie Oliver and, while spelt similarly, it sounds different to part of her mother’s name Pukpuk (pronounced ‘pook pook’).

“My wife is a fan of Jamie Oliver’s and apparently he says it when he’s cooked something nice. It’s some sort of British slang.”

Harwood manages the broodmare band and farm duties at Rosslands Stud, the plush property developed by Marilyn and the late Kerry Hoggard and also occupied by John and Josh Dickie.

“There’s about half a dozen mares there and we have about four to foal this breeding season.”

Harwood remains in close contact with Marilyn Hoggard, who owns the mares and races some of the progeny from Dickie’s stable.

“She’s a couple in work with John and Josh, plus I broke in three nice two-year-olds for her so fingers crossed.

“Trying to keep her interested and in the game is my main motivation.”

Harwood is no stranger to training winners.

He was the original Stonewall Stud private trainer in the late ‘90s and early 2000s back when the operation was based across the road from where Steve Tellfer is now based.

Among those he trained were Group 1-placed mare Shivna, as well as Tala Queen, Allstar Blue Jean and A Little More Magic.

“From there I went and worked in Canada for a few years before returning home.”

His future most likely does not have Shes Pukka in it, though it does have a nice little pay day.

“I’d say she’ll be sold now; I’ve already had a call from an agent keen on her and I can’t see why he wouldn’t take her.”

The next cab off rank will be a Big Jim juvenile gelding that shows plenty of promise.

“He’s shown enough so far, including plenty of speed, but I’m not rushing him. There is no point pushing him to the early races and then chasing Mark (Purdon) around.”

Also on the Cambridge card, local reinsman David Butcher recorded a treble of wins, saluting behind the Telfer-trained Gibson Girl and The Lone Ranger, as well as winning the first tunning of the Russell Curtin Memorial Trot with BK Superstar.

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