Brinsdons having winning feeling
The Brinsdon family will be hoping the good luck Hearts Desire had at Winton yesterday rubs off on stablemate Phantom Grin in the Waikouaiti Cup tomorrow.
Hearts Desire, whose dam, Kate Rocks, is a half-sister to Phantom Grin, capitalised on perfect run in the trail to win the Buteline Plumbing System Pace yesterday. Gore stock agent Matt Brinsdon trains Hearts Desire for his brother Steve, who manages the Gore Returned Servicemen Association (RSA).
Stable star Phantom Grin, raced by Matt and his mother Anne, won the Wairio Cup at Winton and finished third in the Gore Cup in December. A virus is believed to have blunted his performance (ninth) in the Roxburgh Cup last month.
Phantom Grin goes into tomorrow's Waikouaiti Cup having not raced for five weeks. However, Matt gave the gelding a quiet run for second at the Ascot Park workouts last Saturday when the Wyndham workouts were cancelled.
Yesterday, Hearts Desire won at his sixth maiden start.
''He had a few runs as a 3-year-old (last season), but never came up,'' Steve Brinsdon said.
''He's like all of our breed, they take time.''
Ardghal's win in the Masterlink Ltd Pace was his fourth this season for Winton owners John and Katrina Price. Katrina trains the 4-year-old McArdle gelding in partnership with John's father, Roger.
All of Ardghal's nine career wins have been from mobile starts and he has only had two standing starts in his 31-race career.
''He went through a growth spurt and went off a bit at the end of his 3-year-old season,'' Katrina said.
He displayed his high speed when winning with a final 800m in 53.9sec at Winton in December.
Ardghal's unqualified dam, Albertina, had no ability.
''The fastest we could get her to run a half in was 1:5.''
Its Oscar, winner of the Plumbing World Trot, has the ability to match the best 3-year-old trotters in the country, according to Mosgiel trainer-driver Darryn Simpson.
The Sundon gelding raced in the New Zealand Trotting Stakes (eighth) at Addington in April when trained in Canterbury by Murray Edmonds, of Motukarara. A month earlier, Its Oscar won from Royal Aspirations in a 2-year-old trot at Methven.
Royal Aspirations has gone on to win seven races, including the 2-year-old trotters' race at the Harness Jewels in Cambridge in June.
''He's been frustrating this time in, just not doing things right,'' Simpson said of Its Oscar.
''He's got speed like a pacer, can run a quarter (400m) in 28.''
Part-owner Brent Barclay was on course to watch his trotter Free Dreams win the Southland Master Plumbers Association Handicap.
He returned to Winton on Sunday after working 10 months for Queensland trainer Grant Dixon. Barclay drove at five meetings most weeks and bagged about 40 wins during his stay in the Sunshine State.
He has three horses to break in and will pre-train at Alan Scobie's property behind the Winton Racecourse. Barclay will be driving at upcoming trials and race meetings.
Winton trainer Trevor Wilson and Barclay own Free Dreams, who has gained two wins, two seconds and a fourth from six starts.
The Southland Times