By Mac Henry
The training career of Jo Baynes continued to flourish at Ascot Park on Saturday when Envious credited her with win number two from three starts.
A four year old by Changeover, Envious is raced by Baynes and her husband Kenny and has been driven in both wins by Dexter Dunn. In between, she raced at last week’s meeting on the Park and was driven by Derek Balle, who trains a number of horses in the north for the Baynes.
“He was down on holiday and we talked him into driving, Dexter had Eamon Maguire in the race ” Jo Baynes said. “He had ordered a sulky from Invercargill, used it in the race and it got damaged.”
About 250 metres into the contest, Envious was checked and locked wheels with The Honey Badger for quite some time, effectively eliminating the prospects of both horses.
Starting from seven off the arm on Saturday, Envious was in front after 400 metres. It was pedal down the whole way with the clock stopping at the conclusion of the 1700 metres at 2:01.8, just point four of a second outside the track record of Raksdeal. The mile rate was 1:55.3 and winning margin four and three quarter lengths.
Despite the quality of the victory, Baynes says she has no plans for Envious other than to be guided by his future results.
Lamborne Road gave away a heap of ground by failing to settle at the start of the Autumn Cup on Saturday but thanks to an easy pace early, it really didn’t matter. Although last, he soon tacked on, got a good drag up and when presented by driver Shane Walkinshaw at the top of the straight, kicked on to win with ease. The overall time of 3:29.1 allowed impressive closing sectionals of 55.5 and 26.9.
It made the devastating health issues suffered last winter by Lamborne Road a distant memory although health was still a topic in the camp. The five year old’s trainer Wayne Adams had been in hospital all week.
“I went in for an operation last week and there were complications, I just got home last night,” Adams said, “I’m on the mend, lots of thanks to the staff for keeping things going.”
More of a worry for Adams on Saturday was Lamborne Road messing up his second stand start in a month.
“It doesn’t look at this stage as if he is going to go away from the start, whether he will get better I don’t know but it will be mobiles for now,” he said. “He’s got all the ability and if there is a suitable mobile race at Addington he’d go.”
Lamborne Road is raced by Joe and Raeleen Thompson, their daughter Niki and her husband Stephen Keast. The Keasts missed the win though, instead being in Melbourne for an Adele concert.
A son of Washington VC and Abararka, Lamborne Road is a full brother to Storm Light, the winner of eight for the Thompsons including two at Addington.
The patience of owner Tom Kilkelly and trainer Kirstin Barclay paid off when at six years of age, Ask Me Major won at just his third start.
“He’s had tendon trouble three times, in both front legs,” Kilkelly said of the monster gelding he purchased at the 2012 premier sale. Ask Me Major is a half brother to Ask McArdle who was a useful performer for Kilkelly about six years ago.
“He was so big they got no bids, I got him for a thousand dollars, he was the biggest yearling at the sales and has grown. Most big horses are a bit awkward but he drives like an ordinary size horse, quite smooth in his action.”
Not surprisingly, the Major In Art gelding is described as a day to day proposition and has a variety of wraps on his legs continually. He has raced every weekend in March and just jogs during the week.
“He is very clean winded,” Kilkelly said.
Thaboyz Toy is proving a worthwhile venture for Ken Payne, senior tutor at the Telford Tertiary Education Institute and wife Anneta, principal at Kaitangata primary School.
Ken Payne said his involvement in harness racing began when his father was a blacksmith and farrier at Balclutha and shod for all the stables in the area. Horses such as Stella Frost were around there at the time and as a “little kid” Payne got to know them all.
He’s had shares in horses before as part of a group including Mrs Soleece, dam of Thaboyz Toy. She was a winner for them at Gore in 2007. The son of Changeover was her fourth foal.
“He was bred by the team but we took him as a foal, he’s the first one we’ve had on our own,”said Payne. “He had two starts as a three year old, after one of them he was declared a late scratching, then he got a virus. We’ve got a 100 acre block near Balclutha, he came home and when he was right I put a saddle on him and rode him round the hills.”
Trained by Tony Stratford, the four year old resumed in January and his five starts have returned two wins and two seconds.
The inauspicious debut of American Magic at Ascot Park about 12 months ago was all forgotten when the three year old quit the ranks of non-winners at Ascot Park on Saturday.
He had his only juvenile outing in April last year and caused a false start when stumbling and breaking in the score up. From the unruly in the restart, the Murray Brown-trained gelding broke on the first bend and finished last.
American Magic’s current campaign started in January, he’d
drawn 11, 10 and 11 in his three starts for a ninth, a sixth and a ninth. He had the ace draw on Saturday, trailled early, led from the 1500 and won comfortably.
“That’s his first good draw, he liked the front,” said Brown who is part of the Watch Your Step syndicate that owns American Magic. Others in the group are Cleland Murdoch, Dave Kennedy, Trevor Ryder, Alan Lindsay and John Hishon. The son of American Ideal is out of Cher Magic, a Christian Cullen mare from the United States import Watch Your Step who went 1:54.4 in her country of birth.
The syndicate which carries her name, began breeding from Watch Your Step early this century and Cher Magic was the 2004 foal. Trained by Brown, she raced six times, was a winner at Winton in 2008 and retired to stud soon after.
“She got atrial fibrillation, we started breeding from her,” Brown said.
Approved By Dean Baring www.harnessbred.com
Driving The Future Of Harness Racing