News Briefs - September 16
Top pacers for Hannon Memorial
A stellar line up’s been confirmed for the time-honoured Hannon Memorial at Oamaru on Sunday. Dominant New Zealand Cup favourite Self Assured will start off the unruly for the first time after breaking hopelessly in last Friday’s New Brighton Cup. Among his rivals will be All Stars stable-mate and defending champion Spankem, and other stars in Classie Brigade, AG’s White Socks, U May Cullect, and impressive last start winners Robyns Playboy and Pembrook Playboy.
Ultimate Sniper targeting Auckland Cup
Newly-named Horse of the Year Ultimate Sniper has the Auckland Cup in his sights. On Monday night the reigning Inter Dominion champion took out the top prize, narrowly from Amazing Dream. On receiving the award part owner Glenys Kennard said the five-year-old son of Bettor’s Delight was recovering well from the leg injury that’s seen him sidelined from all racing since dominating the Inter Dominions. She also told the crowd they are not eyeing up the New Zealand Cup but do have ambitions to be back for the Auckland Cup at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve.
The season’s first qualified 2YO
Night Watch has become the first two-year-old to qualify in the new season. The Imperial Count – Dark ops trotter has been bred and is trained by Alan Clark in Timaru. Clark is a long time trainer, first starting out in the early 1980s. He’s had 60 wins in 879 starts. Nearly half those wins (28) came with his durable trotter The Fiery Ginga, who’s earned over $400,000. Night Watch qualified at Oamaru Racecourse yesterday, completing the 2000 metre mobile in 2:37.9 (Mile rate 2:07).
Mexicana heading north
Three-year-old Muscle Mass trotter Mexicana has been transferred from the All Stars stable to Josh Dickie in Clevedon. Bred by recently crowned Breeder of the Year Trevor Casey, Mexicana had four starts for Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, with two seconds and two thirds, and $4340 in stakes.
Ben is back
Junior driver Ben Laughton has recorded his first win in the sulky in nearly a year. He piloted the Regan Todd-trained Steel Dust to victory in the Junior Drivers Mobile Trot over 1980m at Addington last Friday night. It was Laughton’s 18th win since starting out in 2018, and his first since driving Rydgemont Son to victory at Oamaru last October.