Little Miss Sunshine makes Walton a winner
Paul Walton struck instant success on his first visit to the Central Southland Raceway on Saturday.
His Tinted Cloud mare, Little Miss Sunshine, won the Stevenson Mining Ltd Pace at the Wairio Trotting Club's meeting at Winton. Walton, who owns the Granite Benchtop Company in Christchurch, and Little Miss Sunshine's Leithfield Beach trainer, Robbie Holmes, also picked up a second with Miss Lisa in the last race, the Winton Night 'N Day Foodstore Pace.
Walton paid $1200 for Little Miss Sunshine at the Christchurch yearling sales in 2009.
''I bought her on my birthday.''
An owner for four years, Walton was attracted to Little Miss Sunshine by the race-record of her dam, Noodlum's Joy (seven wins).
''You have to be a good horse to win seven races,'' Walton said.
Among the eight horses owned by Walton is broodmare Trinity College (one win), a daughter of Group I winner Adio Routine (15 wins). Miss Lisa is Trinity College's first foal, while her second foal, Dark Chocolate, debuts at Ashburton on Wednesday. Dark Chocolate has gained a win and a second at workouts and won a qualifying trial.
Tongues were wagging after Ardghal sizzled over his last 800m in 53.9sec to win the SBS Luxury Lodge Pace on Saturday.
Reinsman Matthew Williamson was surprised at the time.
''It didn't feel like we were going that quick,'' he said.
The leaders clocked 55.5sec but Ardghal ran faster, because he was four back on the outside passing the 800m mark.
A respiratory infection interrupted his racing schedule last month.
Winton co-trainer Katrina Price said Ardghal had ''amazing'' acceleration. The McArdle 4-year-old will race at Winton on Saturday.
Releven Dream, which is Nevele R (stud) spelt backwards, took out the Don Wright Wairio Trotting 75th Anniversary Book Trot.
He started racing last week, finishing second at Ascot Park on Tuesday and winning on Saturday. Burnham horseman Jamie Gameson trains the Dream Vacation gelding for Darren and Gail Garrard, of Brisbane. The Garrard family owns 14 Garrard Horse and Hound (gear and feed) stores in Australasia.
Injury robbed Releven Dream of what could have been a profitable 3-year-old year last season. He lashed out and put a leg through a gate 12 months ago.
''I was devastated when he hurt his leg, he was a derby horse,'' Gameson said.
''It took six or seven months before we could work him.''