Further honours for Ted Edwards in 2021
By Michael Guerin
One of New Zealand harness racing's unsung heroes got his biggest wins in years when Silver Power won the Waikato Trotting Breeders at Cambridge on Saturday night. And minutes later Ted Edwards got a call trying to buy the mare.
“It was some bloke from overseas keen to buy her and he said name your price,” Edwards tells HRNZ.
“But I told her she is too well bred and too good so we are keeping her.” That ability was on display in the capacity field Group Three trot as Silver Power overcame a 20m handicap to trot a super quick 3:26.6 to win the highlight of Saturday’s innovative Cambridge meeting, a rare all-mares race.
She was beautifully handled by Zac Butcher and made it three wins from nine starts, showing she has inherited the family ability.
Her dam Calamity Gal won the Greenlane Cup when trained by Barry Purdon, following the hoofprints of other good Edwards trotters like Battle Heights and Royal Heights.
All in all Edwards has owned 182 winners, training many of them with his son Brett, who is the co-trainer of Silver Power and they have an unusual training tool that was the first to tell Ted that this mare was the goods.
“We have an electronic speedometer which we attach to the side of the sulky that tells us how fast they go and the good open class horses can sprint up in 54km/h but she can get up to that 57km/h.
“So she can sprint at near galloping speed and that is going to make her an open class horse.”
The Edwards stable will set Silver Power for the Breeders Stakes at Alexandra Park in three weeks, a race Royal Heights won, before looking at Rowe Cups and the like, so those overseas offers will almost certainly keep being rebuffed.
But regardless of what Silver Power achieves on the track it may pale with what her breeder-owner-trainer has achieved off it.
Edwards, whose first name is Edward (honestly) was made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Years Honours list, an award that could have gone largely unnoticed at such a crazy busy time of the racing season.
While the award mentions his services to harness racing it is mostly due to his services in sustainable business.
He founded Reharvest Timber Products in 1996 and they have become an Australasian-wide leader in making premium products from waste wood, which equals less waste. That is a good thing.
“Reharvest’s emphasis on only recycled timber products has set standards which others in the industry have emulated and has seen the company recognised for innovative yet ecologically friendly products,” says the honours citation.
“Mr Edwards has received several ACQ5 Global Awards, most recently as ‘Best Practice Operator’ for Reharvest. Reharvest’s products include enviromulch for landscaping and regeneration projects, Cushionfall surfaces for children’s play areas, and Cushionride surfaces for equestrian and dressage arenas.
“A number of councils have utilised Reharvest’s products for local projects. He has also been involved with harness racing as a driver, owner and trainer, later establishing a broodmare band. He has personally driven 30 winners and trained 181 winners.
“ Reharvest has sponsored the Group One Rowe Cup for Trotters at Alexandra Park, as well as races at Kumeu and Pukekohe. Mr Edwards has coached rugby league locally, coaching the U10 Mangere team who were unbeaten for four years.” So as you can see harness racing’s own Ted Edwards has done quite a bit more than just breed and train the odd winner.
Silver Power was the star of Saturday’s meeting but the local Gold Cups went to Ideal Agent in the $16,500 pacing final for Andrew and Lyn Neal while the trotting final went to highly-promising Son Of Patrick, who made it three on end at Cambridge for Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan.
The Futurity Final went to the talented Pull The Other Leg for trainer Mike Berger in one of the biggest career wins yet for young driver Luke Whittaker.