News briefs - September 14

Farewell Flashing Red 

Two-time New Zealand Cup champion Flashing Red has died at the age of 24. A winner of more than $2m, Flashing Red raced predominantly in Australia though under the training partnership of Tim Butt and Phil Anderson he was a top performer on this side of the Tasman, winning the 2006 and 2007 New Zealand Cups, the latter in a then record of 3:57.8. As a ten-year-old he also won the 2007 Auckland Cup and was 2006-07 New Zealand Horse of the Year. Known for his toughness, he had 38 wins and 57 minor placings in 171 starts. He had four seasons at stud in New Zealand with 115 live foals, with the best-performed progeny in New Zealand being seven race winner Red Magic.

Two milestones - one north, one south

There have been two very different milestones at opposing parts of the country. Roydon Downey scored his first win as a trainer when Sans Au Revoir won at Auckland, while Alister Black brought up his 100th success when Wai Key Wee won at Wyndham. "It's hard to believe, it's crept up a bit," said Black afterwards. He also thanked loyal stable clients Ian and Lindsay Thomson. They have been involved (in some degree) in 76 of his 100 winners. For Downey the win was especially significant as the horse was the last one bred by his late dad Errol. The horse was named Sans Au Revoir (French for 'without goodbye') because they never had a chance to farewell Errol before he died in a car accident.

Ron Paterson to be remembered 

A celebration of Ron Paterson's life will be held at the Hotel Ashburton, Racecourse road, this Saturday (Sept 17) at 2pm. After training 31 winners from 1987 Paterson died a year ago, aged 77. He was also a past president of the Mid Canterbury Owners and Breeders Association. For those wanting to see the service on line go to www.patersonsfuneralservices.co.nz, "Funeral Notices" and click on Ron's notices for the link.

Timely win for NZ Cup-nominated pacer

Trainer-driver Mick Stanley's faith in Rock N Roll Doo looks well placed. Last week the four-year-old was one of four Australian pacers nominated for the New Zealand Cup only to come out on Saturday and win a Group 1 at Melton, beating the likes of Copy That and Honolua Bay. One of the outsiders he paid $32 for the win. It was his 10th win in 27 starts and his third in his last five starts.

Weasel keeps racking them up

After starting out with Southland trainer Billy Heads in 2011, Weasel is an absolute iron horse in Queensland. Now 15, the son of Mach Three has just had his 403rd start, with a career record including 30 wins - the latest being at Redcliffe in April this year. Before leaving for Australia Weasel had three starts at Forbury, for a win, a second and a third.

Flu delays fund-raising run

A bout of the flu has forced James Stephens to re-jig his running plans. The 24-year-old, who's well-known as Self Assured's strapper, had planned to run the Dunedin half marathon last week to raise money for mental health awareness. He had easily exceeded his $2500 target. But because he was feeling unwell he decided against it, opting instead to now run the full Queenstown marathon in November.

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