Hey Bartender serves up another win
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Hey Bartender is proving to be an exciting prospect in the northern pacing ranks and further cemented his claim with victory in the Superior Cabins Franklin Country Cup Handicap Pace (2700m) at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
It was the Sweet Lou gelding’s fifth win from nine starts and trainer-driver James Stormont believes the best is still ahead for the exciting pacer.
“He has been so immature, so I have taken my time with him,” Stormont said.
“The owners have been great. If we didn’t take our time with him I don’t think he would be anywhere near as good as what he is, and I believe he will be a lot better in another six months.”
Stormont was rapt with Friday’s result and he is excited about the future with Hey Bartender.
“It was a pretty nice win tonight. It was his first start over 2700m and he has gone 3.24 from the stand, so you can’t ask much more than that,” he said.
“I have driven a lot of nice ones and he is right up there with them.
“He has got high cruising speed. We went hard down that front straight and he still ran away without turning a stick around. You have got to be happy with that.”
While he looks to have a promising future, Stormont hasn’t made any concrete plans with Hey Bartender and will continue to take a patient approach with his charge.
“I was planning to go to Christchurch with him this year, but everything went to custard. He is only young and I don’t want to break his heart,” he said.
“I am not looking too far ahead at this stage, I am just trying to keep him sound and get as much ringcraft as I can with him and go from there.”
Stormont picked up another win in the sulky earlier on the card behind the Frank Cooney-trained Ohoka Creed in the NZ Staff Mobile Pace (2200m).
“He went super first-up and improved into tonight,” Stormont said.
“He has got better with time and is coming to his potential now. Frank said he is a lot stronger, so we are looking forward to the future with him.”