Shartin’s baby brother speeds to trial win
By Jonny Turner
Shartin’s baby brother showed he has his share of his family’s ability when speeding to an impressive qualifying win at the Ashburton trials on Tuesday.
The Tinin In America pacer from Live Or Die mare Bagdarin, named Knockawarwon, has big shoes to fill considering his sister already has her name etched in harness racing history as the world’s fastest ever mare.
The 3yr-old, bred and trained by Shartin’s breeder Grant Crabbe, has not only revealed he has the ability to make some kind of name for himself in the sport with his trial win.
He has shown he is doing even better than his star sister at the same stage of their careers.
“He is a bigger horse, he is taller and he is faster,” Crabbe said.
“He has always been able to run a half [800m] around my track in a second to half a second faster than Shartin.”
Shartin qualified in 3.05.1 for 2400m from behind the mobile, four years and four days prior to Knockawarwon qualifying in 3.03.7.
Baby brother showed off his speed by dashing his last 400m in 26.2sec on Tuesday.
The impressive display came in the horse’s first public appearance.
“First time in a race cart, first time in a race saddle and first time on a race track,” Crabbe said.
“He is a very sensible horse, he relaxes, he is one of those ones you’re lucky to have around.”
“He has got great manners and he is a stunningly gaited horse.”
Knockawarwon will not be seen at the races in the coming weeks, with his breeder-trainer opting to take a patient approach with the promising pacer.
“I am going to turn him out for six weeks, because he has only really just turned three - being a late November foal.”
“I thought he is such a nice horse and he has everything right, so if I give him a nice spell now for six weeks, or so, he will be right for racing around February or March.”
Knockawarwon’s name was developed from what could be considered a phonetic or mangled spelling of Ngakawau – a region on the West Coast of the South Island.
The 3yr-old is partly raced by Crabbe’s daughter, Kylie, and her partner, Michael Mumm.
Kylie came in to the ownership of the horse after Crabbe injured his neck and could have been left unable to work Knockawarwon.
Mumm’s friends and family, who are from the Ngakawau region, subsequently joined the horse’s ownership.
The group had only had one serious offer, which totalled over six figures, before Tuesday’s trials.
Crabbe said they declined that proposal and were likely to decline subsequent offers unless they were sizeable.
“The guys on the coast said they want to race him - unless the money was reasonable - it is hard to get a nice horse.”
“Despite all of the publicity he has had through Shartin, we have only had one phone call from people offering to buy him.”
Crabbe has not yet broken in the next foal from Bagdarin, a yearling by A Rocknroll Dance named Done Rockn.
The horse is to be gelded this week after displaying coltish tendencies.
“He is a roaring, very mature type of horse.”
“He is a stunning horse, he is probably the pick of the family on looks.”
“He looks like he could go as a 2yr-old.”
Bagdarin was served by Gold Ace last season and is due to give birth to a foal by the sire in the coming weeks.
Crabbe also plans to put the mare back in foal to Gold Ace.
Part of the inspiration for that decision is because he has a 2yr-old by the sire from another of his broodmare’s in Cassie’s Medley, which he rates very highly.