News Briefs : January 10

Veteran has career win number 20

Still winning as a 13-year-old Take After Me has been a remarkable horse for the Scotts at Kaiapoi. The dual gaited veteran won the Famous Grouse Hotel Lincoln Trot at Motukarara on Sunday by a nose from Ruthless Lizzie to register his 20th lifetime win in 349 starts. He has won four starts as a pacer and 16 as a trotter. The son of Holmes Hanover is trained by Fred Scott, who races the horse along with wife Jan.

Holiday milestones

Bringing up the half century over the holiday break have been talented junior driver Wilson House and trainer Amber Lethaby. Lethaby brought up the milestone of 50 training successes when she drove Big Mama Morris to victory at Motukarara on December 29, while House brought up his 50th driving success with Amelia Rose at Tauherenikau on January 2. On December 27 Rory McIlwrick brought up his 200th win with Dwindle Star at Gore.

Dexter cracks $10m in stakes

Ten-time Kiwi champion Dexter Dunn has finished 2023 as the fourth highest earning driver in North America. The US-based driver earned stakes of $10.8m in 2023, ranking him behind Yannick Gingras ($15.1m), Tim Tetrick ($14.1m) and David Millar ($10.9m). Dunn is a four-time winner of the Dan Patch Driver of the Year.

History beckons for Alford

Champion driver Chris "Puppet" Alford is closing in on yet another remarkable career milestone, after a winning treble at Melton last Friday night took him to 7984 wins. At his current rate, Alford will become the first Australasian driver to top 8000 career wins in the next two to three weeks. The 55-year-old is already a Hall of Famer and has achieved pretty much everything in his field, including the epic win aboard Golden Reign in the 1995 Christchurch Inter Dominion early in his career. He also holds the Australian record for the most wins in a single season with 456 in 2017/18.

Grimson's new star goes 7 from 8

With New Zealand Cup winner Swayzee out having a good break, Hi Manameisjeff has adopted “stable star” status for Jason Grimson. The injury-plagued gelding lived up to the tag when he resumed from a let-up to post his seventh win from just eight starts since joining Grimson’s stable at Menangle over the weekend. Driver Cameron Hart blasted Hi Manameisjeff out from gate six to wrest the lead and was happy to keep rolling for a 1min50.8sec mile, capped by closing splits of 53.7 and 26.4sec. The Miracle Mile is his major target. Former star Kiwi pacer South Coast Arden sat behind the leader and ran a solid second, while another former Kiwi Mach Da Vinci was third.

Minstrel streets them at Gloucester Park

High class former Kiwi pacer Minstrel has his mojo back. Long regarded as one of Western Australia's most talented pacers, Minstrel is right back in peak form for Team Bond. The seven-year-old completed a hat trick of wins at Gloucester Park last Friday night. He put in a couple of rough strides when challenged for the lead early and headed by his main danger, Lavra Joe, but recovered to blitz his rivals by 12.6m in a slick 1min54.5sec mile rate for 2130m.

10YO goes back to back

Former Kiwi veteran Northview Hustler is far from showing his age. After a long drought, the 10-year-old made it back-to-back Albion Park free-for-all wins when he beat a good field over the weekend. The gelding went a personal best 1min50.6sec for 1660m two runs back and went close to that again with a 1min51.2sec mile rate winning courtesy of a lovely Adam Richardson drive from three pegs.

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