New owners cash in with Gift Card

By Jonny Turner

Gift Card handed his new owners a quick return when overcoming an early gallop to score at Ascot Park on Friday.

The trotter went perilously close to being disqualified after making an early mistake, but he was just inside the 150m he had to regain his gait before going on to win for trainer Jamie Campbell and driver Craig Ferguson.

“He just about threw it away again with that 147m he galloped yesterday instead of 150m,” Campbell said.

“He has got a motor but Craig said he went out in sympathy then the one in front of him galloped.”

“It might just be a little concentration thing, so I might chuck a shadow roll on him just to get him concentrating around that first bend.”

“Hopefully he can stay down for the $20,000 race that he has got on Thursday.”

Gift Card could hand his new connections an even bigger reward than he landed them on Friday when he starts in a final of the Winter Reward Series at Wyndham next week.

Gift Card’s new owners include Campbell’s family, his good friend Stew Thomson and his family as well as another Central Southlander in Wendy Swain.

“They are a very social bunch,” Campbell said.

“Mum and Dad and my sister are involved which is good.”

“The Thomsons are in him they’re good family friends and Stew is obviously one of my good mates.”

“And Wendy Swain is in him, my horses are stabled at her place and she looks after us well, so it is great to have her involved too.”

“It is just good to get good people into racing and have a bit of fun.”

Campbell brought the group into Gift Card’s ownership after acquiring him from Trevor Casey.

The trainer has taken a patient approach with the trotter in the hope he would strengthen up.

And it is clearly working.

“He was just really week when I got him.”

“I was looking for one for a while but I couldn’t find one that I thought would be suitable for down here.”

“I was up at Colin and Julie DeFilippi’s with Melton Mafia and we went out for lunch one day and Trevor said he had one I could have a crack with.”

“When I got him down here I gave him six months in the paddock and we slowly built him up and he seems to have kept on improving which has been great.”

Campbell also has Nanelle Franco progressing back towards the races.

After producing nice trial efforts the mare galloped in her debut at Ascot Park last month.

Campbell has made adjustments and is hoping for a more polished performance when she starts again.

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