News Briefs September 2
1. IRT to sponsor New Zealand Cup
IRT (International Racehorse Transport) has been announced as the naming sponsor for the country’s biggest race, the New Zealand Cup. The stake for the race will be $540,000. (See story on HRNZ website for more details).
2. 50 for O’Reilly
A milestone for Sarah O’Reilly with the Canterbury junior driver chalking up win number 50 at Invercargill last Thursday with victory with Jabali, only to follow it up the next day at Addington driving Invaluable. Hailing from one of racing’s most established families O’Reilly had a career best 24 winners last season, with her first winner coming in 2018.
3. Match race looking unlikely
There is a shrinking chance the first clash of Victoria’s two best pacers Ride High and Lochinvar Art could finally happen in the $30,000 Gammalite at Terang on September 12. Ride High is definitely heading to Terang on Saturday week, but Lochinvar Art’s trainer-driver David Moran is only lukewarm on a nine-hour return trip from his Shepparton base for a sprint race.
4. Kiwi export comes up trumps
Australian debuts don’t come much shorter than Payment Plan’s winning effort at Maryborough on Monday. After having two wins in New Zealand for Amber Hoffman the five-year-old Mach Three mare started a $1.05 hot pot for gun trainer Emma Stewart and driver Jodi Quinlan. The combo duly delivered, though it wasn’t as easy as the odds would have suggested.
Club News : Methven Trotting Club
The Methven Trotting Club’s committee is busy preparing for its first meeting of the season on Sunday, September 13 at the Mount Harding course. Being the first grass track meeting of the season and with the last Methven meeting last season cancelled due to COVID-19 it has been a long time between drinks.
The track is in good order thanks to the hard work of committee members Kerry O’Reilly, Carl Markham, Ricky May, Hamish Molloy and Peter McLeod, so many thanks to all.Unfortunately with level two COVID regulations likely to be still in force the meeting will be run with trainers, club staff and owners but no general public in much the same way as recent Addington meetings.
Like Addington there will be no betting windows open on the day on-course unless we drop to level 1 this weekend which would seem unlikely at this stage. Obviously off course betting at T.A.B. s, pubs and by phone, computer etc. will be available as per normal.Because of level 2 the annual visit of patrons of the clubs of Canterbury has had to be deferred to our January 31 meeting by mutual agreement.
In other news visitors will notice ongoing developments in the new Methven Hot Pools project situated in what was previously part of the public car park. The club’s ongoing housing development is also making pleasing progress with announcements likely shortly.
Recently Methven had its annual awards, winners were:
Morrison Saddlery leading driver-Sam Ottley
Horseshoe Brands leading trainer-Greg and Nina Hope
John and Robyn Nichol leading junior driver-John Morrison
Trouble Lodge and R.T and J.H May young achiever-Ben Laughton
So don’t forget to turn on Trackside and watch the grass track action from Methven on Sunday 13th September and we will see you live on course at our second meeting on October 11 at Methven where the sun always shines.
Mike Heenan for Methven Trotting Club