Todd tops 200
By Jonny Turner
An already epic harness racing journey continued when Regan Todd trained his 200th New Zealand winner at Rangiora on Sunday.
Todd brought up the milestone in style with Play Philly and Stac completing a race-to-race double.
The trainer admitted he is living a harness racing dream that has some of its earliest beginnings back in his home province of Southland.
“Back in Wyndham I used to jump the fence at school a lot.”
“I would have the old school bag on and I would jump the fence to go help Snow (McLellan).”
Somewhat ironically it is a win that doesn’t count among his 200 that rates as one of the most important in Todd’s career.
The trainer has a two-from-two unbeaten record in Australia, with Show Gait scoring the trainer’s first Group One success in the latest of those.
“That sort of got the ball rolling for us that horse.”
“Mark and Nat have been great supporters and that win sort of put us on the map.”
Todd notched his first Group One win in New Zealand just a matter of weeks ago and naturally it rates very highly among the highlights in his 200 victories on home soil.
“Better Talk Art winning the Group One was a huge thrill.”
“We have been pretty lucky to win some big races.”
“The Southland Oaks last year was a pretty big thrill, I quite enjoyed that.”
“Especially because I am from down there.”
“We were second in the Southern Supremacy too, so it was a good day.”
Play Philly will attempt to follow in Better Talk Art’s footsteps by winning this year’s Southland Oaks final.
Her victory in the Rangiora 3YO Stakes shows she is right on track for her Group Two tilt.
“It worked out perfect, she hadn’t had a run for a while and it was a bit like a trial for her.”
“She has done a great job.”
Play Philly will head to the paddock after the Southland Oaks with the big fillies races later this year in Todd’s mind.
“Her programme is to have another run in a fortnight to top her off for the Southland Oaks.”
“After she goes down there she will be going to the paddock.”
“Then we will bring her back and hopefully have her right for the big races later in the season.”
A great Robbie Close drive landed win 199 with Play Philly while it was Sam Thornley who drove Stac to Todd’s 200th training win.
The in-form junior driver earlier drove Hey Tonight to a maiden win in race 4.