Stratford team with strong hand at Winton
by Mike Love, Harness News Desk
Gore trainer Tony Stratford will look to continue his team’s recent success with three runners at Winton on Saturday.
Goma Dale, a four-year-old Auckland Reactor gelding, steps out for his debut with a handy barrier draw of two, in the Mico Plumbing and Bathrooms Mobile Pace. The gelding won his qualifier impressively at the same track on April 28th, stopping the clock at 3:02 for the 2400m mobile, and a sizzling 56.2 final 800m.
Although he had a few heart in mouth moments over the concluding stages of his qualifying trial, Stratford says those issues come as part of the deal with Auckland Reactor progeny.
“He’s a big long striding horse, and a bit weak at the minute. He does tend to put in a roughy here and there.”
Stratford says the gelding has been a slow developer, but is confident that he will be very competitive on Saturday.
“He has a big motor, and is willing .... I’d say he’d be pretty hard to beat.”
The Stratford team, which had a double at Invercargill on April 29 with Tara Victory and Outback Man, will also line up a stable newcomer, Sweet Southern Lass, in the Plumbing World Fillies and Mares Mobile. She won a recent Wyndham workout for her new barn, and the three-year-old Sweet Lou filly has impressed Stratford in the short time they’ve had her.
“I’m really happy with her. We’ve had her about three or four weeks.
“We gave her a workout last week just to see where she’s at, and she went nice. I think she could be a wee bit above average.
“She’d be pretty hard to beat over a mile.”
Finally, last start maiden winner Tara Victory will look to go back-to-back when she goes around in the Buteline NZ Ltd Mobile. Stratford believes the 3yo Vincent filly won’t be far off them either.
“It’s a step up from the maidens to a one-win. But I think she’s a progressive type of horse.
“I’d be surprised if she wasn’t in the top three or four.”
New Zealand's leading reinsman, Blair Orange, will take the drive on all three runners.