Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Almost Chrissie-mas!


With bags packed (bless you, Sarah) and head distinctly in departure mode, what better way to spend a waiting-to-go day than … at the races.
Tuesday trotting is a new thing in New Zealand, introduced just this year to feed the ravenously hungry television-betting industry. Tuesday race-days have reduced stakes and (theoretically) reduced fields, sort of like dog racing with sulkies, and they were intended for the lesser lights of the sport and the lesser horses of ditto. Well, that was the idea. It hasn’t quite turned out like that.
Read on.
Rangiora HRC was the organiser of this week’s event, which is why I was there doing my ‘meeting and greeting and congratulating’ act. Also, best-friends-Robin-and-Geraldine-Wilson had two horses in and Jan, Wendy’s sister, had brought Chrissie all the way down from Nelson. She’d run at the previous week’s event and finished a splendid second.
Well, what a grand day it was! I had some really delightful people to meet and greet (hello the Wakelin family, Mrs Strachan et al), the Wilsons' pair nailed up a first ('His Honour' aka Tony) and a second (my old friend 'Gridlock' aka Lockie) and I also ended up presenting the trophy and the traditional winner’s bit of a tipple to my Mum’s friend, Barbara, as well. I'm not sure who was the more shocked at our unforseen meeting, she or I!
And Chrissie? Well, Chrissie was in the last race. And on the turn she was in last place. Here’s the photo of the finish. That’s her at the very top (ie way out wide), almost – but not quite -- getting up to win. Right under my nose!
And who beat her? Which lesser light? Just a representative of the ritziest and starriest stable in the whole of New Zealand. Well, if you have to get beat, even on a Tuesday …

So bravo, Chrissie, and bravo Jan who now has the remarkable record of driving in four races at Addington, the HQ of NZ harness racing, for one win and two seconds.

And now, off for a jolly supper at the local resto, and then it's time to get that head of mine back into departure mode...


varrose said...

Are you on the Gazellebank now? And if so, are you continuing your blog. We are booked on the ship later in the year and would love to hear more about it.

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Johndory said...

We are also booked on the Gazellebank later in year. Looking forward to your story.


Hi varrose and john dory...

I only got your messages once I hit Europe because, as you probably know now, one can't access the Internet from the Gazellebank.
So, yes, I kept writing the blog and loaded all my 'diary' once I hit land. Read on!

Bon voyage