Successful return to Invercargill for Curtin
By Jonny Turner
Taking his first horse to Ascot Park in almost a decade paid off for trainer Jim Curtin when Emmersyn Lee scored a front-running victory on Saturday.
The inexperienced 3yr-old took her step towards qualifying for the Southland Oaks Final when winning comfortable in maiden company.
Curtain said it would be scary to think how long ago it had been since he had taken a horse from his own stable to race in Southland.
The records books show it was almost a decade ago – when Slash And Burn ran third in the Northern Southland Cup in 2009.
Curtin will not wait nearly as long to line up his next runner in the deep south.
Emmersyn Lee is likely to return south to race in Gore, next month, to complete her mandatory two starts for Southland Oaks qualification.
Curtin is not getting ahead of himself with the filly, but is hopeful she could develop in to a contender for the race.
“We are hoping she can develop in to a nice filly.”
“The Oaks would be a long range goal if she kept improving.”
Emmersyn Lee showed she had plenty to learn about the racing game when taking a good look at the Ascot Park scenery at different stages of her 2200m win.
Curtin said the filly is far from the complete package.
“She is still pretty inexperienced, she has got a bit to learn.”
“We just hope she keeps improving.”
Curtin and wife, Sandi, bred the Bettarthancheddar filly from their American Ideal mare, Crystal Bromac.
The couple race Emmersyn Lee with David Aitken, of Canterbury.
Saturday’s race looked Emmersyn Lee’s for the keeping soon after the start when the favourite, Kickupyaheels, galloped.
The Robin Swain trained filly caught the eye with a big performance to collect herself and run fifth.
Emmersyn Lee was one of four Canterbury trained winners at Saturday’s meeting.
Three wins went to Otago trained horses and two wins went to hometown trainers.