Plenty of fitting factors

NZ HARNESS NEWS

There were plenty of fitting factors in the victory of Glen Elgin Thomson at Methven on Sunday, but none more so than the lady who owned the second ever New Zealand winner to be sired by Highview Tommy.

That was the former Ballarat Cup winner’s biggest supporter and co-owner, Hazel van Opzeeland, who can now boast owning a winner sired by the horse who she has thrown all her efforts behind.

Van Opzeeland took the brave approach of teaming up with Woodlands Stud to stand the stallion once his racing days were finished and has spent a lot of time marketing his availability on both sides of the Tasman.

But the joy of success with one of her own on Sunday has made it all worth it – even if it did come as a bit of a shock.

“We weren’t expecting any miracles to happen or anything like that,” she said.

“He’d been going OK at workouts and trials but to see him win the way that he did was a huge surprise. I actually lost him half way up the straight but even now watching the replay, I’m not sure how he won.”

Van Opzeeland can probably chalk that one up to the driving skill of Blair Orange, whose presence in the sulky of her first Highview Tommy winner made the occasion all the more special due to his involvement with the horse during his racing days.

“Blair and Tommy were a bit of a team, and Blair’s role with Ken Barron was a big part in the decision to send the horse there in the first place.

“I couldn’t actually think of anyone more fitting to be driving him than Blair.”

A three-year-old gelding from Spring Thaw, Glen Elgin Thomson doesn’t lack for breeding and a quick stroll down the Falcon Seelster mare’s progeny line makes for impressive reading - Talaspring, Kabet and Spring Campaign among others filling the space.

Sadly, there won’t be another addition after the mare died while giving birth to a Highview Tommy filly – giving even more significance to Glen Elgin Thomson’s success on Sunday.

His win followed that of Tombelina’s earlier in the season to create some impressive looking starts for the relative new comer to the breeding scene and those coupled with some exciting prospects in Australia have van Opzeeland excited about the future.

“There has been a lot of interest from Australia which has probably surprised me a bit, but there’s been a number of people keen from over there.

“I’m hearing a lot of good things about his foals, they’re nice sized and good to do anything with which is encouraging and hopefully with a bit of success here in New Zealand he can go on and become a viable option to our breeders, especially those smaller breeders.”

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