Linton Shard underlines Anderson’s promise as a trainer
NZ HARNESS NEWS
Linton Shard has been in super form since joining Matt Anderson at Woodend Beach and he looks a major player in the Margo Nyhan/Peter Davis Kawatiri Cup at Westport on Friday.
The rejuvenated six-year-old gelding joined Anderson over Christmas at a point where he hadn’t been placed since April last year and had been with four different trainers.
Under the aspiring young horseman Anderson however, Linton Shard has raced six times for a first up win, three seconds and two thirds.
“There’s probably been a combination of things which have led to the turnaround, but I think the biggest thing has been fixing his feet,” said Anderson.
“He’s been around the block a few times and was jarring up, and since sorting that out, everything has flowed from there.
“He’s quite narrow in front so we’ve played around with spreaders and the overcheck among other things, but I think the other big difference has just been riding him and working him on the beach – he’s just a much happier horse.”
Linton Shard was a half-brother to Smiling Shard and Pemberton Shard when Cran Dalgety went to $40,000 to secure him from the Premier Sale, at a point when Changeover’s first crop were two-year-olds.
He looked quite useful early on and won races at Rangiora and Addington, and much later one at Washdyke when he’d dropped right down in the ratings.
But a year ago and after 34 starts, Dalgety handed Linton Shard over to Graeme Anderson for beach training and he won his first start for him at Forbury Park.
A trip to the Manawatu under Michael House in May last year did not go well however and Anderson then approached Dallas Paterson about taking Linton Shard as a drive for the amateur races.
“I lined him up a few times but he wasn’t going any good so we gave him a good spell,” said Paterson.
“I don’t think he’d had a good spell for years and he was down on condition a bit.
“He came back in looking like a gorilla and went a slashing first trial for me in the spring.
“I’m in this game to get them up and running and sold, so at that point I sold 80% to clients of Matt’s in John Gillies and Clem Hall of Ashburton.
“My cousin Brad Paterson and Josh Graham who are both from Arrowtown stayed in with me.”
Linton Shard also won his first start for Anderson at Rangiora in early January and then seconds followed at Waterlea (two) and Orari and thirds at Oamaru and Ashburton.
“We’ve tried keeping him to the grass tracks as much as possible because of his feet,” said Anderson.
“He had a hard run at Ashburton last time and I’d turned him out for a freshen up, but after 2-3 days he was bouncing around again so the Coast trip was back on.”
Since teaming up with Mitchell Kerr at Rangiora last season, when Anderson won races at Addington with the two-year-old Pitch Perfect and the trotter Brian, he has been working just a handful of horses while employed by the Dunns.
But Anderson is now looking to ramp things up with a move into a new barn at Woodend Beach, which he and Matt Purvis are going to share and look to do about eight each and “feed off each other”.
With that in mind, Anderson secured three yearlings from the sales including a Bettor’s Delight colt for $22,500 late in the day in Christchurch.
Anderson made a name for himself in winning 111 races as a junior driver up until the end of last season, but it is Linton Shard who has been underlining his skills as a horseman lately as he prepares for a new phase in his training career.