Idle Stuartia grabs hat-trick at Blenheim

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Idle Stuartia won her third race of the week when victorious in the Graham Neill Memorial Trotting Cup (2850m) at Waterlea Raceway on Sunday.

It adds to her win at the same venue on Friday and victory at Nelson last Sunday, which came after placing at the same venue just two days earlier.

Trainer Rodger Austin was over the moon with the result and admitted he didn’t expect to see the 2-1/2 length winning performance from his mare on Sunday.

“I was a wee bit surprised,” Austin said.

“She had gone up a class and she was off 10m. I didn’t think the 2800m would suit her, but she is in that zone and the old trotters, once they get in there, they are pretty hard to beat.

“I am stoked, she has done really well, and Blair (Orange) has driven her really well every start too.”

With three wins and a placing from her four starts at the top of the South Island, Austin said the daughter of Superfast Stuart has enjoyed the trip away from their Weedons base.

“I think she just likes being away, just like her trainer and owner, getting away from home and having a bit of a holiday,” he quipped.

Austin doesn’t have any immediate plans with his in-form mare but is looking forward to stepping her back out closer to home.

“We will just go home and reassess everything because she has jumped quite a few points now so we are going to have to go through the motions a wee bit. We will see what she does,” he said.

Meanwhile, Austin said stablemate BJ Lindenny didn’t appreciate the trip on Sunday when finishing sixth to Idle Stuartia.

“The 2800m didn’t suit him and I think the run the first day might have taken it out of him a wee bit because he didn’t eat up very well after the race, but I wasn’t too worried,” Austin said.

“I think he will bounce back pretty well when he gets back to a mile and a quarter.”

Austin was pleased to win the race named in honour of former local trotting identity Graham Neil.

“It was great to win that race,” Austin said. “I didn’t know Graham really well but he was well-known around these parts, so it was great.”

Later on the card, trainers Robert and Jenna Dunn enjoyed taking out the local feature, The Blenheim Sun Newspaper Marlborough Cup (2850m), with Dashing Major.

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