Spells, witches, wine... and oh, that filly!

It was a very special night at Addington last evening in many respects. A night that can only be described as Nigel Armstrong night. Small in stature, but with a big heart and big ideas, Nigel's filly Spellbound produced an emphatic winning performance on debut, while his fundraiser raised significant money for Peter Davis and Margo Nyhan to aid their recovery.

Nigel has raced horses for years, primarily with Robert and John. His Westview syndicates have grown over the last decade and they have raced some nice horses. But the one horse that Nigel has really looked excited about getting to the races is Spellbound. Finally she got to the track last night delivering an emphatic debut win. Even better was that Nigel got to share the win with hundreds of others, with his Westview Racing No 19 Syndicate and Witches Of Witches No 2 Syndicate, also enjoying the spoils of success. On a slightly cool Christchurch night, they turned out in big numbers to cheer home their pride and joy.

But the story has an even better twist. Nigel was a major player on the night in organising a big fundraiser to help Peter Davis and Margo Nyhan who are recovering after a well documented crash recently. Money was raised through a series of autions, but also through 5% of winnings that Nigel dedicated to Peter and Margo through Westview owned runners on the night. 

Spellbound went into her debut run as a short-priced favourite. Able to succcessfully negotiate off the rails early, John had her up and challenging for the lead from the 1400m. However, she was obliged to sit parked, a position that she was left in for the trip.

Coming off the back for the last time and she was clearly travelling a lot better than the pacemaking Dr Susan, quickly mastering that runner on turning in. Having done her fair share of work, she did look vulnerable to the late swoopers, but held on the the cheers of her big band of owners, by half a length, in a new New Zealand record for a two year old filly over the trip. In a final feelgood piece attached to this story, Spellbound was successful wearing the colours of Peter and Margo. 

Sometimes racing does have some quite magical stories and whether the witches had anything to do with the result, whether spells were involved or whether this was just simply a case of all the planets aligning for a perfect ending, well done that man. On ya Nige!

Posted: Sat 23 Feb 2019

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