Taylor riding a wave with Pro Surfer
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
It has been 36 years since Bruce Taylor last tasted success as a trainer, but Pro Surfer could be the horse who breaks his drought at Addington Raceway on Sunday.
The five-year-old gelding has finished runner-up in his last two starts at the Christchurch track and Taylor is hoping he can go one better in the First Direct Taxis Mobile Pace (2600m).
Pro Surfer has been in Taylor’s care for the last four months and he has taken a steady approach with his return to the track, with the gelding previously not being sighted on raceday since October.
“He came back from a long spell and we have just taken him along pretty quietly,” Taylor said.
“He was just crook. He wouldn’t put on weight. He seems to have got over it.
“I expected him to go better than the two sixths he had. He was fit, but he hadn’t had any speed work. The racing has tightened him up a bit.”
A retired vet, Taylor has been able to spend more time with his horses over the last couple of years after previously being time poor due to work and other commitments.
“I have been doing vet work with horses for about 35 years,” he said. “We have bred quite a few standardbreds and at one stage we sold at the yearling sales.
“Our kids were eventing and I didn’t have time to train. I have always enjoyed working with horses.”
While Taylor said it would be nice to win on Sunday, training is more of an interest for the horseman, who likes to spend his time educating his equine athletes.
“It is more of an interest for me rather than worrying about wins. I like handling young horses and it’s nice to have a horse that goes alright too,” he said.
Taylor no longer heads to the sales with his young stock but said they have had a bit of success over the years.
“I like breeding, but we decided we didn’t have a good enough breed to go through the yearling sales, so we are retaining a few ourselves now,” he said.
“If you have got a good breed, that is good to go to the sales. But because I like handling them, I am happy to potter around with them.
“Easy On The Eye and Flame Up are a couple that have done well that we have bred and either leased out or sold to other people.”