Graduate Under Fire
Going into another full weekend of racing, which will see the stable represented at Addington - Friday, Winton - Saturday and Akaroa - Sunday, the stable is in good heart.
Amongst all the success of last weekend though the "good news" story of the week, was undoubtably the form shown by the Ray and Maureen Beale owned Graduate Under Fire. John had driven the horse on a number of occasions, but just recently took the horse back home to see how he would respond to some beach work. It worked out well for Ray, who has unfortunately not been in the best of health recently.
There was some good stable confidence that the horse would perform well at Westport. The wealth of money invested saw his fixed odds price drop from $13 to $2.60 by race start. However, a 15 length victory was certainly above expectations. Robert spoke to Ray and Maureen that night after the race. "Ray was absolutely rapt. It was just the "pick me up" that he needed. He then backed up impressively on day two, doing a power of work before being nailed late in the race. We'll look for a boys' race next for Jason Thomas and hopefully the horse only continues to improve."
The relationship between Ray and Robert goes back, "close on 40 years, to a time when I was working for Jim Dalgety", says Robert. Ray had a cup horse at the time, in the shape of Game Lad. From Robert's recollections, Game Lad, "won a Kaikoura Cup and a heap of other big races, before going to the states where he won around $300,000.
Ray has always been very good to Robert's sons John and Dexter, giving both drives in the early days when others would not. As Dexter once relayed to me when asked why he was driving an "old roughie" for Ray, "well he was one of the few people that would happily give me drives when I started out. I remember driving an $80 roughie to victory for him one day".
Congratulations to you Ray. You are a true gentleman and lets hope you are back to better health and able to watch the horse win live next time.
Posted: Fri 15 Mar 2013