Blanco finds success
Outsider Blanco restored faith with his connections when winning at Gore yesterday.
Blanco went into the Hokonui Honda Pace not having won in 20 maiden starts for Levels trainer Murray Tapper and the five-member Mountain View Racing Syndicate. The Washington VC 5-year-old gelding joined Tapper's South Canterbury stable as a late yearling and had come close to being sacked on four or five occasions. Tapper drove Blanco yesterday.
''I seem to get on with him, he goes all right when I'm driving.''
It was Tapper's first training win this season and fourth career success as a reinsman. He occasionally drives on race day. His previous driving win was behind Domination at Addington in March, 2009.
Two members of the Mountain View Racing Syndicate, Grant Armstrong, of Timaru, and his daughter, Lisa, of Christchurch, were at Gore.
Mosgiel owner-trainer-driver Alan Clark won at two tracks at the weekend.
Speedy Success won for him at Gore, while his open class trotter The Fiery Ginga triumphed at Addington on Friday night. Clark shares the ownership of both horses with his wife Fiona.
Alan Clark said Speedy Success would suit Australian racing.
''He steps and runs . . . an ideal horse for Australia.''
Speedy Success won by five and a quarter lengths in the Kubala Seeds Ltd Gore Trot. It was his 31st start as a non winner.
''He's taken time to strengthen, he's been a big slabby horse,'' Clark said.
Interestingly, Zachary Smith, who finished second to Speedy Success, was bred by Clark. Robin Swain yesterday produced his first winner since he and Colin Baynes dissolved their training partnership on August 1. Swain-trained Knapdale Lady finished best to win the Esplin's Dairy Pace.
''Everything worked out well [in the running],'' Swain said.
''If she can get sucked into it, she's a chance.''
Knapdale Lady, owned by Baynes, is one of 15 in work with Swain at Knapdale. Four-win trotter Cool Cobber is in the line up preparing for racing in October.
Julia Jones won the Charlton Motel/Food Fair Pace for Gore Harness Racing Club life member Mervyn Todd. The 5-year-old half-sister to multiple Group I winner Sokyola is one of three horses in work with Todd at Charlton.
Todd said he had been involved with the club for more than 50 years and served on the committee for 17 years.
Love In The Dark finally broke through for her maiden win in the Howl At The Moon Pace. The consistent mare was bought by Peter McDermott, of Christchurch, five weeks ago. After the sale, she was switched from Branxholme trainer Kirk Larsen to Andrew Armour's West Plains' stable.
Love In The Dark paced the 2200m mobile in a respectable 2min 43.2sec.
The Southland Times