One disappointment

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Ray Darby only has one disappointment about the continued success of Comic Book Hero, winner of the $10,000 Rotorua Cup at Arawa Park on Sunday.

“Poor old Logan seems to be the one that missed out on the deal given he was the one that found the horse,” he told The Informant.

Logan is Ray’s son, an amateur driver and part-owner of Comic Book Hero.

The seven-year-old son of Grinfromeartoear has now won over $45,000 since being purchased out of Southland for less than 10 percent of that figure a year ago.

“Logan bought him to be an amateur horse and he’s hardly driven him due to various circumstances.

“He drove him a couple of times and then got suspended, so m other son, Jeff, won a couple on him early on and he raced himself out of the amateur grade.

“But I don’t think Logan minds too much given he owns a share in the horse.

“He’s certainly proved to be an excellent buy.”

Darby, based in Patumahoe, says there has been no magic remedy to the turnaround in the pacer’s fortunes.

“If I knew what I was doing right, I’d market it and sell it.

“I’m just training him the way I’ve trained all my horses.

“I try to get them as fit as I can because I believe if you can get them well and they’ve got ability, they’ll show it.

“What we have discovered with him, and it’s been a key find, is that he has no speed, really.

“The tougher the circumstances, the better he is.”

It is that dogged racing style that has seen Comic Book Hero win Cups at Arawa Park and Te Awamutu in the past fortnight.

“You’ve got to put him in the fight because he’ll stick at it right to the bitter end.”

Logan races Comic Book Hero with his wife, Kirstie, and their friends, Danny McKendry and Jodi Lochead.

“They’re all having a great time racing the horse.

“I got a call the other day to sell him to Tahiti – it’s the only enquiry I’ve had – but Logan and the others aren’t keen to sell as they’re having too much fun racing him.

“It’s Jodi and Danny’s first venture in to owning a race horse and they are having a ball.”

Where to now is the big question – the northern grass track meetings have finished and Darby, aged 78, isn’t comfortable making frequent trips to the central districts.

“I’m going to stay up here with him.

“I looked at Otaki this week but, to be honest, at my age, I don’t want to be going all over the country side.

“So, I might just put him aside for a couple of weeks and then try and mix it up between Cambridge and Auckland.

“If Logan is interested in Hawera at Easter we might go there.”

Darby is working three horses and says Comic Book Hero is by far the one causing him the least headaches.

“He’s a damn good reason for getting up in the morning.

“I’ve got the trotter, Bro Fawkes S (5 wins), and he’s got a bit of a mind of his own.

“So, I take him on the lead with the other horse in the cart and it settles him right down.

“And I’ve got a horse there called Turbo, who has had a few starts, but he’s running out of chances.

“He’s a half to a nice horse I had called Hastilea, but he’s nowhere near as good.

“Having Comic Book Hero there makes training the team a whole lot easier.”

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