Veteran Forbury winner still loves being in work


Motu Speedy Star defied his veteran status with a front-running win at 14-years-old at Forbury Park on Sunday.

Driver Ben Laughton rated the horse a treat in front and he fought gamely to win for Oamaru owner and trainer Eion Latimer.

The victory was Motu Speedy Star’s 14th in his incredible 226-start career.

To say he has been good to his trainer would be a major understatement.

“He is the perfect gentleman; you would not get a nicer horse to deal with,’’ Latimer said.

The trainer is keen to reward his veteran for his faithful service by calling time on his career whenever he is ready.

“The day he says he doesn’t want to do it, he will be retired.”

Motu Speedy Star came to Latimer’s stable a 4-win pacer from Canterbury trainer Ian Cameron’s barn.

He brought with him a ‘dicky knee’ he had had his whole life.

The near-side knee continues to give the Village Jasper gelding a few troubles and the fetlock below it can also flare up.

Those niggles are at their worst in the winter, but do not cause too many headaches for horse or trainer.

When time is finally called on Motu Speedy Star’s career he will definitely not be put out to pasture.

“He loves working with the younger horses at home and he will work whatever time you want him to,’’ Latimer said.

“He went out twice the other week with a learner pacer and a learner trotter and he loved it both times.’’

As well as being good to his owner-trainer, the veteran has been good to aspiring drivers looking to make their mark on the sport.

Laughton joins John Morrison, Sheree Tomlinson, Craig Ferguson, Samantha Ottley, Brad Williamson and Kyle Cameron as junior-drivers who have won on the horse.

Motu Speedy Star is by former champion Australian sire Village Jasper and is his most-winning horse in New Zealand.

If he was still around, Latimer would probably send a couple of mares to him.

“No wonder the Aussies love the Village Jaspers; I have had two of them and they have been tough as teak.’’

“Jaspers Blue Jean had 230 starts and this fella is just about there, too.’’

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