Holiday win with the cherry on top
Winning with VC Windermere at Wyndham yesterday has made Reon Tither's holiday even more enjoyable.
Tither, who moved from Invercargill to West Australia three years ago, is in the city catching up with family and friends on an 11-day visit.
As well as driving VC Windermere in the MLT/Three Rivers Hotel Pace, he shares the owner's cheque of $4850 with his mother Andrea. Reon's father, Jack, trains VC Windermere at Ascot Park.
Yesterday was Reon's first race-drive for seven months. He has done little driving in the past 18 months because of work commitments as an accountant in Karratha.
He and his fiancee Lara De Campo, who is a school teacher, will next year be living in Harvey, where they are building a house near the racecourse.
Tither got a kick out of being back on the race track yesterday.
''I definitely have missed it.''
He will work as an accountant in Harvey and train a small team in his sparetime.
VC Windermere wasn't happy on the slushy track yesterday.
''She went rough in the straight, I nearly lost her a couple of times,'' Tither, 26, said.
The plan with VC Windermere is to aim for the Harness Jewels at Ashburton on June 1. If she misses a start and is holding her form, she will be campaigned by the Tithers in West Australia.
Reon is also interested in training his grandfather's horse, Windermere Lad, in the next year or two.
Jocasta, winner of the Wyndham Workouts Committee Handicap, was the only starter at the meeting for Oamaru trainer Phil Williamson.
The half-sister to Jag's Invasion (three wins), who is also in Williamson's team, has a tendency to trot roughly on bends. Jacasta was driven in front by the horseman's son Matthew.
''She trots beautifully in a straight line. When we got into the (home) straight, I knew we had it,'' Matthew, 22, said.
Phil is thinking about campaigning a small team in Auckland next month, possibly taking Jag's Invasion, Yankee One and Springbank Sam. The latter won on both days of the New Zealand Cup meeting in Christchurch last week.
Six-year-old Christian Cullen gelding Glacier Express chalked up his first win from 11 starts with success in the Big Jim @ Alabar Pace. Injuries have interrupted his racing career.
Glacier Express broke a pedal bone as a young horse and last season, he injured an eye when his cover unfastened, causing him to trip and fall. Yesterday's success was the 398th training win for Murray Brown, who prepares the pacer for Anne Chamberlain, of Woodlands, and the estate of her husband Allan.
Bernanne Chip, the dam of Glacier Express, won seven races, including the 2001 Gore Cup. Two years ago Bernanne Chip was put down after becoming difficult to get in foal.
Her only daughter, Glacier's Delight, is being bred from by Mrs Chamberlain.
Islegetem, a three-quarter brother to smart Canterbury pacer Didjamakem Bolt, rocked punters with an upset win in the Centrepoint/Southcity Liquorland Pace.
Four-year-old Islegetem has surprised Rimu part-owner Ray Knight.
''Two months ago we didn't think he was much good. He had three workouts and ran last in all three,'' Knight said.
However, in his next workout he showed improvement and has continued to please Knight and wife Denise and Edendale trainer Craig Laurenson..
- The Southland Times