News Briefs : October 18
Stable-mate dead heat at Addington
It's believed a piece of history was made at Addington when the Greg and Nina Hope-trained Celtic Spirit and Jack Tar finished first equal on Friday night. Records indicate it was the first ever dead-heat by two stablemates at Addington. Celtic Spirit and Ben Hope looked to have the race won, only for Blair Orange and Jack Tar to make up many lengths in the home straight. The last dead heat at Addington was Lizzie Richter and Zia Bromac on June 30. In all there have been 49 dead heats at Addington since 1951.
Retirement for Kings Landing
Nine-win trotter Kings Landing has run his last race. The Muscle Hill eight-year-old finishes his career with nine wins from 80 starts and just under $200,000 in stakes. Starting off at All Stars, Kings Landing had five starts in Australia in 2020 before going to Bernie Hackett and Michelle Wallis. His last win was at November last year at Auckland with his last start being a third at Auckland earlier this month. Harvey, as he's known, is set for a big future in the show ring.
Winny's timely win
Could there be a more topical winner than Winnyzback's victory at Oamaru on Sunday, just hours after Winston Peters and New Zealand First returned to Parliament. On election night NZ First had secured enough votes to have eight seats with Peters back in Parliament after being ousted in 2020. On Sunday Winnyzback, trained by Andrew Faulks and driven by Blair Orange, prevailed by a head for his third win in just six starts.
Big milestone for Bob
Bob Butt's double at Addington Raceway on Friday took him to 300 driving wins. He won his 299th race aboard Gold Bullion, and then took out the final race on the card with Pandaia. Butt's 300 wins have come from 2917 drives, his first winner being Unattached at Forbury Park in 2006. Meanwhile Tim Williams and Sam Ottley have both notched up their 50th wins for the season to be fourth equal in the drivers' premiership behind Blair Orange (120), John Dunn (86) and Sarah O'Reilly (60). Williams' 50th was with Aardie's Express at Addington on Friday while Ottley's latest success was with Bettor Way at Oamaru on Sunday.
Quinn wins at Young Quinn
Bruce Negus certainly picked the right place for his talented youngster to make his debut in with Quinn winning at Young Quinn Raceway. The Downbytheseaside two-year-old had been in sizzling form at the trials before clearing out to win at Wyndham by nearly four lengths. Quinn is now set to front up in the Woodlands Stud Sires' Stakes Heat 5 at Ashburton on Magic Monday (Labour weekend) on October 23.
Dexter keeps delivering in USA
Four-time Dan Patch Driver of the Year Dexter Dunn has passed $8m in stakes earnings this year in North America. The ex-pat Kiwi has had 182 wins from 1121 drives in 2023 , amassing $8.3m in stakes. That makes put him sixth overall, with Yannick Gingras the highest earner at $11.6m. Aaron Merriman has the most wins with 678 and earnings of $7.8m.