It has been a horsey couple of weeks.
First there was "Wendy" -- officially "Wendy's Shadow" -- a daughter of our dear, late Agnes de Gerolstein. Wendy was bred by our friends, the Newhouses, in the tropical north of Auckland, and she has just reached the stage of going into serious training. Suzy Newhouse sent us these photos from her early practice chez Jo Stevens. Driver: Dylan Ferguson.
Closer to home, 18-month-old "Kurt" -- officially "Kurt of Gerolstein" -- has been for his first spell of training chez Kyle Cameron. We popped up to see him in (gentle) action ...
before he came home for a winter of contented grass-guzzling and growing. He brought his blond friend Chester (right) with him ...
And Emily. Emily has had a good spell with "Howie" Howard at Motukarara since her tragic eviction from the field for the New Zealand Oaks. She had a nice trial at Ashburton (too far for me to travel, alas) and then got a rash! Of course, it had to be treated, so a second trial, prior to racing, had to be cancelled. Horses run stuffed full of fridge gas and things, but anti-biotic ointment is not allowed. But Howie decided to go ahead without said trial, and she was nominated for a low-class trot at Addington last night.
It is still difficult for us to go racing with Emily. The friendly ghost of our dear Murray Edmonds is ever on our shoulders. But I know he'd be pleased with the manner in which his very good friend Howie has looked after our little filly. We visited her in her box half an hour before the event. Calm as a millpond, the wee thing ... what you got in your purse, Wendy? Treats?
I wasn't really excited. Just prepared to see her run nicely from a putrid second-line draw (and the first line full of habitual gallopers!), so I was slightly taken aback on reaching the grandstand to find that she was ... favourite on the tote! And getting shorter. Bugger. I hate being favourite. Especially when I don't expect it. But hey, last time she won she was unexpected favourite ..
Well, here is the race. She negotiated the start, avoided the gallopers, tucked into third and when they started to do a go slow, Jimmy (Curtin) whipped her round to the lead and ...
Here are some of the pictures that the great Ay Jay Berry of Race Images took of her as Jimmy gently guided her to the winning post .. flap those reins! Murray would have laughed, he who was always a devotee of the charioteer's style of whip action!
Great drive, Jimmy. Great training feat, Howie. Great coolness, when all is galloping around you, Emily. The Muzz team. Hope Murray E was watching from above and saying ... YES!
The commentator opined that she was in for a good winter. I hope so. I think so. Although many of my favourite tracks effectively close down over winter. Are we going to be condemned to floodlit racing at Addington? Hard, when its an hour's drive each way, and morning starts at 6am. Winter racing should be daytime. But hey -- as witness the Oaks fiasco -- you can't write to City Hall.
Anyway, win two from 14 starts. Plus 5 placings (2nd/3rd). Imperial Count seems to be a whang-o stallion ...
So that's Wendy, Kurt and Emily. And the whole three of us together ... a very very happy family!
EMILY is owned by Kurt, Wendy, John & Jan Hoare and Frank Denson
KURT is owned unsurprisingly by Kurt, Wendy and Jan Williams
WENDY is owned by the Newhouse family
PS My souvenir of the night! That Ayjay does take brilliant photos ..
And if you can't be collecting the gold ... how about handing it out!
BROTHER LOVE wins the Gänzl and Williams Trot at Rangiora ...
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