Return To Sender delivers
@SearleJamie: North Canterbury 3-year-old Return To Sender will back up at Winton on Friday after winning in track record time at Wyndham yesterday.
Reinsman Matthew Williamson said Return To Sender won like a good horse, racing without cover from the 1400m and scoring by three-quarters of a length in 2:55.1 (2400m mobile) in the Alabar Pace.
The time broke Classic Cullen's 3-year-old colts and geldings' track record (2005) by 1.2sec and Hurricane Bromac's open mark (2013) by 0.6sec. Hurricane Bromac's trainer, Robert Dunn, prepares Return To Sender at Woodend Beach.
Return To Sender, out of New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner, is staying with Makarewa horseman Tony Barron for the Winton meeting.
''He won easy, just knocked off the last bit,'' Williamson said.
''Around the turn, I gave him a flick and he was always going to win from there.'''
Acolyte posted a maiden win at his fourth start for Ryal Bush trainer Hamish Hunter.
The Lis Mara 3-year-old gelding is raced by Invercargill breeder Graham Cooney, a board member of the New Zealand Racing and Rugby Boards and chairman of Blue Sky Meats.
Acolyte is one of 30 horses Mr Cooney has shares in. Other winners for him this season include Minstrel Boy, Devil May Care (Cromwell Cup), Canardly Lover and Groomsman.
Reinsman Shane Walkinshaw was optimistic about winning when Acolyte settled in front.
''He likes to keep rolling. Once he got the lead, I thought he'd be hard to beat,'' Walkinshaw said.
''He did it quite comfortably.''
Jocy Jaccka, who has been massaged for the past three weeks to counter soreness, won from a 20m handicap in the Caldwell Contracting Trot.
Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray took the outside pole off and replaced it with an inside pricker for yesterday's C0-1 event.
Jocy Jaccka clocked 3:4.9 (2400m stand), which is three seconds outside the trotting mares' track record held by her half-sister Jess Jaccka. Their brother or half-brother Jaccka Jack is temporarily back with Westwood trainers Jonny Cox and Amber Hoffman for thermal imaging treatment.
A Dunedin veterinarian will treat Jaccka Jack at Cox and Hoffmans' stable.
Jaccka Jack has been breaking in races and not trotting properly. Hopefully, the treatment can pin-point the problem.
''We don't know what is . . . he's got us bamboozled,'' co-owner Charlie Smaill, of Riversdale, said.
The Cox and Hoffman-trained Sharpenuff won the MLT/Pioneer Tavern Edendale Pace, sprinting the final 400m in a slick 26.3..
He joined the stable two months ago and in six subsequent starts, the Falcon Seelster 5-year-old has gained two wins, two seconds and a third.
Sharpenuff's work schedule consists of jogging in the training sulky with two or three horses being led off him.
''He's a fit racehorse and doesn't need a lot of work . . . he races every seven to 10 days,'' said Cox, who drove Sharpenuff.
Stablemate Majestic Major made it two wins from as many starts for Cox and Hoffman when winning the Neville Cronin Memorial Pace.
Cox's third driving success yesterday was with Merilane in the Woodlands Motors Ltd Handicap Trot. The Melbourne-owned mare is out of Meridean, a half-sister to Dominion Handicap winner Merinai.
Merilane's Waikouaiti trainer, Bruce Negus, is moving back to his Burnham property in July.
- The Southland Times