Kiwi success in US & Vic
By Michael Guerin
Kiwi harness horses starred on both sides of the globe yesterday with one setting a new world record on harness racing’s biggest day.
Former New Zealand mare Shartin stunned harness racing fans when she paced a 1:46.8 mile on Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands in New Jersey, the fastest mile ever paced by a mare.
Her all the way win in the US$183,000 Lady Liberty to continue her incredible last 18 months to confirm her place as the best pacing mare in the world.
Ironically, Shartin never raced in New Zealand, being exported to Australia before becoming a superstar in North America, her success even more surprising as she is by former speed freak Tintin In America, who as a stallion has struggled to leave top racehorses.
Shartin wasn’t the only Kiwi to star on Hambletonian Day, with driver Dexter Dunn winning the main trot for older horses with Machego and finishing second in the Hambeltonian Oaks, Cane Pace and fourth in the US$1million Hambletonian.
Closer to home Oamaru juvenile trotter Ultimate Stride overcame a second line draw courtesy of a beautiful Anthony Butt drive to win the A$50,000 Redwood at Maryborough in Victoria.
The giant baby is only campaigning in Victoria after owner Emilio Rosati talked trainer Phil Williamson into the trip because he looks anything but a natural two-year-old.
“He is a very good stayer which is why I let him stride down the back straight to turn it into a staying contest,” said Butt.
“He is already a good horse but he is only going to get better.”
Williamson couldn’t pull off the group race double when heavily-backed favourite Liberty Stride galloped at the start of the A$75,000 Victoria Derby and tailed off.
The race was won by Kiwi bred Majestuoso with Auckland trotter Kratos a solid third.