Houghton trotter on song at Addington

by Jonny Turner

Florence The Machine notched success for good friends Ross Houghton and Craig White when bringing her best game to Addington on Wednesday.

The three-year-old powered out of the pack to win with Houghton in the sulky, scoring an overdue maiden win in the process.

Florence The Machine came to the South Island late last year to contest New Zealand’s biggest two-year-old features after making a solid start to her career in the North Island.

Since that trip, the filly has never left Canterbury.

“Ross Paynter had her and when he finished up her gave her to Craig White who is a good mate of mine,” Houghton said.

“Craig used to train, he had Cyndi Arma the mother of Jimmy Arma, and those are his colours she races in.”

White also races Florence The Machine with his father, Merv.

The three-year-old disappointed fresh up at Reefton earlier this month before showing her true worth when winning on Wednesday.

“She has got a lot of speed, I used her a bit at Reefton and that didn’t really suit her,” Houghton said.

“She is better when saved for one run and she showed that today.”

“Even though she wanted to knock off the last bit.”

Houghton wants to give Florence The Machine a handful of starts before setting her aside and aiming her at features races next spring and summer.

“This time in is all about teaching her to be a racehorse.”

“She is still quite green yet and has a lot to learn.”

“We will give her three or four starts and then bring her back for the three-year-old fillies races later in the year.”

On breeding, Florence The Machine wouldn’t look out of place in a good race.

The filly is by What The Hill from Harness Jewels winner Petite Sunrise, who is a daughter of the champion mare Pride Of Petite.

Florence The Machine is the only racehorse Houghton currently has in work.

But with a barn full of yearlings, the trainer has plenty to keep him busy.

“I have got a heap there, it is pretty busy.”

“I am doing quite a few different ones this year, I have got ten colts for the Dunns, four of Brendon Hill’s, some for the Scotty’s Leftovers Syndicate and a couple for Robert Famularo.”

“I have had ten of them in the cart this week and they have been pretty good.”

“Usually you get the odd rogue but so far they have been good.”

“Most of the pacers are pacing and the trotters are trotting along good.”

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