Injured trainer planning for National meet
Leda Beck, hospitalised with a broken leg last week, plans to be at Riccarton to watch Gargamel race at the Grand National meeting next month.
Beck, who trains Gargamel at Winton and races him with Gallop South's Southland manager, Jason Spencer, broke her right leg in three places while playing social netball a week ago. Doctors operated on the leg to insert a plate, a rod and screws. She spent three nights in hospital and will have crutches for three months.
Gargamel is one of five in work with Beck, who is helped by husband Allan and track riders Emma Hammond and Sophie Price. The latter is also a trainer at Winton.
Gargamel brightened a tough week for Beck by winning a restricted open hurdles event at Timaru on Friday. His targets at the National meeting are the maiden steeplechase (first day) and Grand National Hurdles (second day).
He and regular rider Alan Browne, of Rangiora, finished fourth in the National hurdles last year.
''He was a bit weak but this year, he's twice the horse,'' Browne said yesterday.
Beck hopes to race Gargamel's half-sisters, Matoaka and Zarina, at Oamaru on Sunday. Matoaka, unraced since January, has had win and two placings from seven starts.
First starter Zarina is a rising 3-year-old by Raise The Flag.
Meanwhile, Cairnsville posted his maiden win at Timaru for Winton trainer Kevin Cairns.
Cairnsville and stablemate Tom Dooley will race on the second day of the National meeting. Tom Dooley will be entered for the Oamaru meeting on Sunday.
Cairns suspects Tom Dooley was dehydrated when running a disappointing 11th in a rating 65 2100m at Ashburton on July 4.
''He drank a lot of water afterwards and he doesn't normally do that,'' Cairns said.
- The Southland Times