Weekend in review

It was a big weekend for the stable with runners at Auckland on Friday, Addington on Saturday and Rangiora on Sunday. With three stable wins - one at Addington and two at Rangiora, it proved a very good weekend. For John as a driver, it was even better with six driving wins.

Auckland - Friday

Wrangler produced a top effort for second behind Utmost Delight in a quickly run 2200m, run in 2.38.6.

After holding up from his inside draw early on, Wrangler always looked to be travelling for John and was consistently cutting out some smart sectionals. As they came off the back the last time, he looked to be travelling as well as any and put three lengths on them turning for home. It was only in the last 100m, that he succumbed to a strong late finisher in Utmost Delight. A very encouraging run.

Kotare Cullen showed her true ability in running a very good second behind Hail Christian.

Following some inglorious antics the previous week, Kotare Cullen was on much improved behaviour this week. She travelled beautifully in the trail throughout and was a strong finisher for second behind the pacemaker and eventual winner Hail Christian. The ability is clearly there and she should be a winner in the near future.

Yagunnakissmeornot enjoyed being back at Alexandra Park, with a strong finishing run for 4th in the Rosslands Lyell Creek

Yagunnakissmeornot put in a top run for 4th in the feature trot for the night at Group Two level. She came from well back in the running and showed that she can be a factor in the Group One National Trot on New Years Eve.

American Tart showed real fight in running 4th in the Group One Queen Of Hearts

John was stoked with the very brave effort of American Tart in running 4th in the Group One for the mares. She did the most work in the race and really served it up to eventual dead-heat wiunner in Partyon. She only tired late and looks a big chance when it comes to the southern mares features in the New Year.

Addington - Saturday

Lovetodream had her first miss for some time after having to sit parked outside pacemaker and winner Delishka

John went forward for a lead inquiry early, but good mare Delishka was intent on holding up. Lovetodream battled in the run home, to be beaten just over five lengths, her first miss for many months.

Spondulicks and Gavin Smith came with an undeniable run late to get up at big odds, with Bettor Chance a good run in third. 

In what was a quickly run race, both horses went back and occcupied the two rearward spots with 1500m to go. Bettor Chance got onto the three wide train down the back and loomed wide with her run four wide turning for home. She hit the lead at the 150m but was cut out of the major prize as first Sweet Mary and then Spondulicks came over the top in a 1950m run in 2.21.5. Spondulicks was recording his third win from 22 starts, all with Gavin as the driver. He takes his stakes won to just a tick under $40,000.

Robbie Burns finished stoutly for third behind Tiger Thomson in a sizzling 1950m

It was only a small field of six over the 1950m, but they never stopped running in a quick 1950m cut out in 2.18.3. Robbie Burns was second last or last, most of the trip. He was forced to come wide with his run on the turn and was giving the leaders five lengths turning in. He stormed home to be beaten just two lengths, running third behind Tiger Thomson and Royal Bengal. His final sectionals of 27.1 and 27.66 show just how good his run was. He is well on target for his main target at Central Otago.

Rangiora - Sunday

Kensington Kate was rewarded for consistency, leading over the last 1500m to record a strong front-running win.

Kensington Kate had been in good from before a last start miss at Motukarara. This time thoough she took luck out of the eqaution, taking the lead at the 1500m and then dominating from the front. She looked to be travelling well turning for home and kicked strongly for John to win by a comfortable one and a quarter lengths.

Kengsington Kate is bred to be good, as she is a full sister to smart mare Picadilly Princess (15 wins) and also to stablemate Spondulicks (3 wins). She is a half sister to the well performed Royal Mach (3 wins) and The Royal Garden (7 wins). She is doing a great job for her connections Mike Ward and her breeders, the Pattersons.

Sacred Angel had no luck first up

Scared Angel had no luck in her resumption after getting well back from her draw. She made steadily made up ground in the run home and should improve markedly with this run under her belt.

It was another good run from Alta Orlando

It was never going to be easy for Alta Orlando from the 40m and so it proved as he finished third, some six lengths in deficit behind My Wee Man and Goodlookin Chick. He began well, but settled last in a strung out field. He made ground strongly over the last 800m to finish in a placed time of 3.17.9, a full second faster than the winner. He continues to put in strong efforts.

Woodstone finished well bcak after an early break

The talented but enigmatic trotter Woodstone did actually trot away well, but then and early break proved terminal as he finished at the back of the field. The ability is there, but consistency of performance is still to come.

Diamonds N Cash goes back-to-back

The Breckon Racing owned Diamonds N Cash showed that he is a horse of real promise, backing up his maiden win from Methven, with an all of the way win against a handy R53-R60 field. He stepped like a toff and then simply ran his opponents into the ground. He definitely looks a horse with a lot of promise and should be easy to place over the summer months.

Six for Johnny

Johnny continued a great run of late with a six win bag over the weekend. Two of these were with stable runners - Kensington Kate and Diamonds N Cash and the other four were outside drives.

On Saturday at Addington it was a double for the in-laws the Edmonds as Johnny piloted Harriet Of Mot and Muscles Galore to success. In the case of Harriet Of Mot, her winning time of 3.12 was a new New Zealand record for a mare. erasing over three seconds off the previous record.

On Sunday at Rangiora John scored with Ohoka Johnny for cousin Tom Bagrie and with outsider Idealagain for Jamie Gameson, that got home at odds of 29-1.

John has now driven 34 winners for the season and sits 4th in the premiership. Robert is currently placed second in the trainers premiership with 26 winners.

Posted: Mon 18 Dec 2017

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