Red Harbour lands tenth win
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Red Harbour picked up his 10th win at Addington Raceway on Thursday night in the Tyre General Trot (2600m) and trainer Kevin James doesn’t believe it will be his last.
The seven-year-old gelding stepped away cleanly from his unruly mark and driver Craig Thornley kept Red Harbour out wide on the track, giving his charge plenty of time to get comfortable in his gait.
Once he was happy, Thornley pushed the go button on Red Harbour who quickly surged past his rivals to wrestle the lead and Thornley was able to assume control of the race.
The pair remained untroubled in front and were able to hold off the late challenge of Martha Stewart to secure a half neck win, with a further four lengths back to Rachmaninov in third.
With the exception of a runner-up result earlier this month, the Majestic Son gelding had been disappointing for James of late, so he was delighted to see his charge back in form.
“Last start we raced him on the grass because he gets a bit fat, so we put him in but he has never done any good on the grass. He just needed the run,” said James, who also co-bred and part-owns Red Harbour.
“His mannerisms have just been letting him down as well, he gets a bit too worked up. Off the unruly makes it a bit harder.
“I thought he went quite good tonight. I expected that, he just has to step away cleanly.”
James said Red Harbour has also started to regain confidence at Addington.
“He has won three at Addington now but having said that I think a while ago he jarred up there a couple of times and he has only got his confidence back there now,” he said.
While Red Harbour has now had 124 starts, James believes there is longevity left in his gelding, comparing him to his evergreen sibling Earl Harbour.
“He is quite a strong horse,” James said. “His half-brother Earl Harbour had 330 starts, most of them in Australia, and he won about $230,000. He raced until he was 14.
“The family doesn’t tend to come right until seven or eight, as a rule.”
While Thursday’s victory was in R35 to R49 grade, James believes Red Harbour can be competitive against higher rated opposition.
“I think he is capable of beating better horses than what he beat tonight with the right run,” James said.
“If he could step away from the front without being on the unruly, it would be quite a big benefit.”