Veuve Clicquot flowing after maiden win

By Joshua Smith. Harness News Desk

Champagne bottles were popping after Clicquot’s win in the Spectators ‘Iconic Kiwi Roast’ Trot (2000m) at Addington Raceway on Friday night.

While it may have been just an ordinary winter maiden trot for some, for breeder-owner-trainer Derek Jones it was the culmination of years of hard work and heartbreak.

The daughter of Orlando Vici showed plenty of promise as a youngster, however, she would have a spate of bad luck over several years and didn’t make her debut until a couple of months ago, as a five-year-old.

“We have waited a long time and she has had so much trouble going on in her life, but we kept on going,” Jones said.

“As a yearling she showed massive ability. We took her down to Tim Butt’s one day and she trotted a half in just over 58, which for a yearling is really good.

“When she came back she just wouldn’t trot, we couldn’t get her trotting at all. We thought she was sore and spent a fortune on vets. We really didn’t know what happened so we put her out again.

“When we brought her back we thought she may have fractured her pelvis and we gave her another year off.

“They have certainly been trying times.”

Clicquot finally made her raceday debut at Ashburton in May where she finished 10th but put in a better showing second-up at Rangiora where she was runner-up behind Kenny Keko.

While the result was pleasing, the aftermath of the race was not.

“When she got back after finishing second she was quite lame and I couldn’t figure out why,” Jones said. “It turned out she had corns in her feet, which was a bit embarrassing because I am a blacksmith and I should have picked that up.

“She hasn’t started for a while since then, we gave her a spell and had to get her feet right again.”

Jones was pleased with her heading into Friday and he was duly ecstatic with the result.

“It is our most satisfying win ever because of the effort that went into it,” he said. “I said to Adele (wife) if she never wins another race I don’t care, I am happy to have won that race with her, it made it all worthwhile.”

From limited progeny, she has become her sire Orlando Vici’s third individual winner in New Zealand, and Jones doesn’t believe she will be the last, with the Prebbleton horseman also impressed with her two-year-old full-sister, Eurostyle.

“I really like her full-sister, she is the goods,” Jones said. “She is about 16 hands now, so I am not going to push her at all. I am going to give her plenty of time. In hindsight, I may have rushed the other one.”

Jones said he decided to send his six-win trotting mare Sunny Kash to the Haras des Trotteurs stallion because of his docile nature.

“I liked the fact that he was French and he was recommended to me by Mark Jones,” Derek Jones said.

“He is a very good-natured horse and our mare, Sunny Kash, isn’t the most well-natured horse you will come across. We thought that cross would give us a nice breed, and it has.

“Clicquot is a lovely natured horse, she is beautiful.”

Jones has also taken a lot of pleasure out of seeing their three-year-old half-brother Eurokash performing well for trainers Greg and Nina Hope.

The son of Love You was purchased by Greg Hope out of the Jones’ 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred National Yearling Sale draft for $35,000 and he has won three races to date.

“I am absolutely rapt with the way he is going with the Hopes,” Jones said. “He has had bonechip issues and they think they have got over that.

“They really like him and think he is going to be a really nice horse this year. I am thrilled for them, they are top trainers.”

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