New Stags rugby coach Brad Mooar was delighted to taste success in Southland harness racing with the talented Cran Dalgety-trained juvenile filly Supriya at Winton yesterday.
The precocious daughter of Changeover and Live Or Die mare Rosanna Jaccka (two wins) recorded a splendid winning trial for the Cheviot Stakes at Addington on Sunday when she outclassed five rivals by five and a half lengths over a mile in 2:00 neat.
A luckless fifth in her debut when shuffled back at Addington on February 15, Supriya drew attention to her potential with a flawless display yesterday.
''She is certainly a nice type of filly and goes really good,'' driver Dexter Dunn enthused.
''She did it pretty easy today . . . She felt beautiful coming to the last bend and is pretty natural with good gait and manners.''
Mooar, now based in Invercargill, is a member of the Beintowin Syndicate managed by his brother Ged, a Metropolitan Club official in Christchurch.
Their father Bryan, ''Mouse'' MacDonald and Bruce Norton are others from Christchurch in the 10-strong (nine shares) syndicate that also includes Aucklanders Paul Sutcliffe, Armin and Julie Lindenburg and Paul Hassall. The group is completed by Alister Hassall (Taranaki).
The syndicate leased Supriya's dam Rosanna Jaccka from Charlie and Ailsa Smaill of Northern Southland with a right of purchase they exercised. She won two of her 12 starts and first left the promising A Boy Named Rosie, a winner and twice second in only three starts with a 1:55.8 mile record.
Supriya is her second foal and was booked to leave Tony Barron's Makarewa quarters this morning for trainer Dalgety's West Melton stable.
Supriya came through yesterday's exertion outstandingly well, hardly indicating after she had been to the races.
Amberley mare Batini was another Cantabrian to stay with Barron after failing dismally at Wyndham before scoring in the fifth race yesterday for driver Tim Williams who also won with Queen Of The Crop and Jocy Jaccka, both trained by Brett Gray of Ryal Bush, a boner at Blue Sky Meats.
Williams won four races at the Wairio meeting on the course in December and has driven three winners in a day on three occasions.
''I don't regret coming to Southland as I am now gaining good momentum,'' he said after his season's 28th success.
''A wee bit of a surprise,'' Barron said after Batini's win. ''I threw her out in the paddock at home after Wyndham for two days and did nothing with her - perhaps that tells us something about her.''
Barron was caring for her on behalf of trainer Kevin Chapman from whom he leased Skippy Rascal to win two races.
''Kevin seldom comes south, only for the really big meetings here,'' Barron said.
Driver Williams and trainer Gray said Queen Of The Crop improved sharply with the application of a rein pricker and half blinds which overcame her hanging tendencies when a useful sixth at Ascot Park on February 11.
''Russell Morton, the owner of Queen Of The Crop, is my right hand man who has helped me a lot,'' Gray said.
Williams said Jocy Jaccka, twice successful and once runner up in her last three starts, was ''quick when saved for a run.''
Gray trained the winners of two races in a day for the first time with yesterday's duo.
Leeston filly Millwod Pink Lady and Invercargill filly I Smart drew attention to their Southland Oaks prospects with impressive wins over a mile in similar time.
I Smart won her previous start at Ascot Park and Millwood Pink Lady was a gallant Wyndham runner-up who backed up impressively for Dexter Dunn.
- The Southland Times