Sentiment surrounds Cambridge debutant
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
There will be plenty of sentiment surrounding Kourtney Kardash when she makes her debut in the Judith Wrigley Memorial Mobile Pace (2200m) at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday.
The Bettor’s Delight filly is raced by junior driver Monika Ranger, who will wear a black armband to mark the recent passing of Judith Wrigley, the late wife of her sponsor Malcolm Wrigley.
“I met them at the Franklin Club, which is our local in Pukekohe, and we always had a drink with them there,” Ranger said.
“Malcolm said to me one day that he wouldn’t mind having Malcolm Wrigley Insurance on my helmet and Judith was always there and was very supportive.
“Judith passed away a couple of weeks ago and I will be wearing a black armband for her.
“Malcolm also owns Eye Love You in the race after, so hopefully she can go well for him.”
Adding further sentiment to the occasion is Ranger marking her first foray into ownership, having spent the last two years educating Kourtney Kardash after leasing her off breeders Woodlands Stud as a yearling.
“My friend Kelly (Blakemore) works for Woodlands and I told her that I was looking for a horse that was up and running, but I couldn’t find anything at the time,” Ranger said.
“She said there were a bunch of yearlings to lease at Woodlands and she gave me four or five to pick from. I knew that Steel The Show was going good enough and she was the full-sister to him, so I picked her. Then Lady Of The Light started to go well, so I was glad I picked her.”
Ranger said her filly has shown plenty of personality but is starting to settle down as she matures.
“She has got a little bit of an attitude but I have had Shane (Butcher, trainer and partner) and Zac (Butcher) help me out a lot,” she said.
“She can fire up a little bit but she has come right. She gets better with every prep and now you can do anything with her.”
While hopeful of a solid debut performance, Ranger isn’t glowing about their outside draw on the frontline so isn’t putting any pressure on their first outing.
“I am looking forward to driving my own one as I don’t feel as much pressure,” Ranger said.
“I haven’t got the best draw and it is her first run, so I am not expecting the world. I will see what happens in the race and just play it by ear. Whatever happens she will improve off.”