Dunn's mare shows no mercy
Cullen's Mercy, unsuccessful in seven amateur driver races this year, blazed over one mile in 1min 53.7sec to win the Equine Stakes at Winton yesterday.
She clipped 0.4sec off Nuclear Byrd's 16-year-old Winton all-comers' mark and lowered the mares' track record by 0.6sec, previously held by Hannah (2011).
Reinsman Matthew Williamson studied videos of Cullen's Mercy's previous starts.
''She looked a tough type and I kept pouring it on [in front]. I made it into a staying race,'' Williamson said.
Cullen's Mercy (four wins) joined Robert Dunn's Woodend Beach stable about two months ago. Owner Ray Reekie, of Leeston, had earlier been training the 6-year-old daughter of Christian Cullen and drove her in seven amateur driver races.
''She broke in a lot of them,'' said Reekie, a scrap metal dealer.
Her six starts from Dunn's stable have produced two wins, two seconds and a third. Reekie and fellow amateur driver Robert Earle, of Christchurch, bought Cullen's Mercy's dam, Show No Mercy, for $8000 at a Spreydon Lodge sale in Christchurch.
Show No Mercy left Hannon Memorial winner Chloe Hanover (11 wins). Reekie and Earle bred three foals from Show No Mercy before she was put down.
Franco Nartiscape, owned and trained by Reekie, won a junior drivers' race at Winton in 2009.
Owner-trainer Allan McVicar will race Char Do Neigh at Roxburgh on Sunday after the 4-year-old's solid maiden win yesterday.
''It'll be at least 10 years since I've raced a horse there,'' McVicar said.
Char Do Neigh deserved favouritism for the Southland Farm Machinery Pace. He finished second in his other two starts and looks capable of winning again at short notice.
The Bettor's Delight gelding is the third and last foal out El Serene, a Fake Left mare who did not race because of a hip injury suffered as a foal. Her first offspring, a Courage Under Fire filly, had no ability and a P-Forty-Seven gelding developed wobbler syndrome and was put down.
McVicar put El Serene down three years ago.
Jango Fett recorded his third win in his last four starts in the Upper Cuts Butchery Pace. He received a lovely run on the outer and raced away in the straight for a two and three-quarter-length win for Branxholme trainer-driver Kirk Larsen.
''He's got high speed and when he develops more, he'll have more bottom,'' Larsen said.
The Western Ideal colt will race at the Northern Southland and Invercargill Cup meetings next month. He is nominated for the Australasian Breeders' Crown Series in the winter.
- The Southland Times