Treacherous Gall and Ohoka Connor shine on Diamonds Day
By Jonny Turner
Great mates combined to win the Group Two Southland Oaks with Treacherous Gall on Diamonds Day at Ascot Park yesterday.
The filly powered home from off the speed in one of several outstanding performances on Southland’s biggest day of harness racing.
Trainer Regan Todd and driver Craig Ferguson both got their early starts in harness racing in Wyndham, with both horsemen first working for Brendon McLellan.
To combine with a good friend and fellow Wyndhamite to win one of Southland’s most sought-after races made their victories special for both trainer and driver.
“It is pretty exciting, especially to get it for Regan,” Ferguson said.
“We have been great mates for a long time, he does a super job and I am rapt.”
Todd described Treacherous Gall’s victory as ‘better than Lego’ referencing the well-known phrase Newcastle Knights player Matthew Johns used to describe his team’s win in the 1997 NRL Grand Final.
As big gusts of wind hit Ascot Park and rain poured down, it did nothing to dull the thrill of the trainer’s victory.
“It wouldn’t worry me if it was [pouring] down with rain, that was better than Lego, it was a great result,” Todd said.
Two great mates in Dave Kennedy and Cleland Murdoch bred and own Treacherous Gall.
Both have been prominent Southland breeders and owners for many decades and both were delighted to win one of the biggest features in their home province.
Stonewall Stud’s decision to purchase Ohoka Connor late last year again paid dividends when the pacer produced a massive performance to win the Group Two Southern Supremacy Stakes.
The three-year-old overcame sitting parked throughout the 2700m to down a classy field with a phenomenal staying effort.
Ohoka Connor aided his chances by relaxing well in the parked position before willing himself to a courageous victory.
“He is a lovely horse, he gives me a great feel and he has a terrific will to win,” driver Tim Williams said.
“I think he was more worried about the wind and the conditions and what was going around him [than sitting parked].”
“Credit to him – he cut the breeze the whole way and you can’t take anything away from him.”
Canterbury stables completed a clean sweep of the Diamonds Day features when Wheels Of Fortune took out the Southern Country Cups Final for trainer-driver John Hay.
Earlier, Vessem remained unbeaten in three starts when winning the Group Two Diamond Creek Farm Stakes for Mark and Nathan Purdon.