Splash Cola relishing new regime
By Jonny Turner
Unconventional training methods have helped Splash Cola reinvigorate her career and complete back-to-back wins in free-for-all company at Addington on Friday night.
The veteran squaregaiter beat out a smart line up over 1980m, two weeks after downing a similar field to win the group 3 Summer Trotting Free-For-All for trainer Regan Todd and driver Robbie Close.
Todd admitted he has taken some slightly unusual steps to get Splash Cola in career best form at the ripe age of 9yrs-old.
“If anyone was at the beach and saw me work her they would think I was crazy,” the trainer said.
“She had been getting way too keen in her work, so I have been galloping her on the lead.”
Galloping a trotter on a lead rope behind a horse in a sulky is considered an old school training method.
It is one Todd has used before, when working for Mark Jones.
“It is something I have done before.”
“When I was working for Mark we had Unique Star and we did it with him.”
“He ran fourth in the Dominion at the time.”
Splash Cola had missed a top three placing in her past seven starts before Todd changed her training regime.
He has no plans to tinker with it any further following the brilliant results it has provided.
“We definitely won’t be changing anything now.”
Splash Cola’s winning form has upgraded her breeding resume for her Southland owner-breeder Ian Hunter.
The Sundon mare’s back to back victories have also provided Hunter with some compensation after Splash Cola failed to get in foal in the spring.
“She was served by Father Patrick quite late in the season and never got in foal,” Todd said.
Staying on the track has allowed Splash Cola to crack $100,000 in lifetime stakes.
The 9yr-old’s fast finish from three back on the markers posted her 11th career win to take her stakes tally to six figures.
Todd has already beaten his previous best tally of wins for a season with five months still to go this term.
He puts some of that success down to having a good crew of staff around him.
Todd’s parents, Barry and Pam, have recently moved from Southland to Canterbury to be closer to the stable.
Close is an integral part of Todd’s operation and is enjoying an excellent season in the sulky with 37 wins.
The reinsman scored his first group win as a driver with Splash Cola, two weeks ago.
The first of Friday night’s trotting features, the Sires Stakes Classique, was taken out impressively by Chloe Rose.
The Nigel McGrath trained 3yr-old never gave her rivals a look in when leading from barrier 1 and going on to score by more than three lengths for driver Blair Orange.
Tailored Elegance took second, ahead of Vacation Hill.