Inasinglemoment's win on debut "pretty special"

By Michael Guerin

Friday may have been Winter Rewards night at Alexandra Park but Chanelle Lawson’s reward came nearly two years ago.

It just started paying dividends on Friday.

Lawson is not only a well-known photographer in harness racing, including having her work regularly published by HRNZ, but she is a long-time staff member at Tony Herlihy’s stables.

It was because of that loyalty and quality of work Herlihy sprung a surprise on her two years ago.

“Tony pulled me aside one day and said they had two weanling fillies down one of the back paddocks and he’d like to give me a share in one,” says Lawson.

“All my favourite horses have always been trotters so thought I better stick with that and chose the trotting filly rather than the pacing one.”

Two years later that little yearling filly has grown into two-year-old Inasinglemoment and she did what few winter juvenile trotters do by winning on debut against older horses in the first race on Friday.

She didn’t just win either, she looks a smart filly as she came out of the trail and was held up until the 150m mark and roared away to bolt in in a fast 2:52.5 for 2200m standing start.

“It was pretty special to see her do that,” says Lawson.

“I owe Tony and Suzanne so much for letting me have a share in her and for how good they have been to me in my career. I feel like part of the family.”

Lawson doesn’t really come from a racing family but has been with Herlihy for eight years and loves the trotters, her two favourites being Tickle Me Pink and Double Delight.

“Double Delight is still boxed after her leg fracture but I hope she makes it back,” says Lawson.

“This filly will go for a spell now and hopefully there are some good races for her at the end of the season.”

The win was the first leg of a training double for Herlihy, who is overseas on holiday, so both were reined by Tony Cameron, the other being Jethro Bodine who was convincing winning the maiden final.

It was a night of multiple winners as Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan trained two, Benson Dude and Ilsas Son, both driven by Crystal Hackett who added another driving success with Nelson’s Boy to cap her enormous July.

He was very good after causing a false start then coming from last at the 400m to once again show while he has his issues he is a good stayer.

As good as Hackett was on Friday, David Butcher may have just taken honours for the night as he not only drove three winners but trained Hooray Henry to win the main pace.

The smart pacer was having his sixth start back after 18 months away from the track so the win will be immensely satisfying for Butcher but what he did earlier on trotter Dream Of You was more spectacular.

The four-year-old was last throughout from his 20m handicap and looked no chance at the 400m or even 200m mark before unwinding late to get up on the line.

He has long suggested he is a good horse and this was win number six for trainer Derek Balle and his patient owners. Being a son of Love You he looks certain to come back a better horse after the spell he now heads for.

It wouldn’t surprise to see him become a North Island open class regular, maybe even better than that, in 2024.

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