NZ HARNESS NEWS
Allan Shutkowski only trained one winner last season and he would happily let it happen again this season provided it’s the exact same race.
The Blenheim hobby trainer takes his mare C A Penny to Addington tomorrow to defend her $40,000 Listed Southern Mares Classic from 12 months ago.
She won at upset odds nearing $50 last year and, as Shutkowski points out, there is a bit of symmetry with that race tomorrow, too.
“She’s drawn exactly the same as last year and she’s been let go by bookies again.
“We’ve got to go forward with the two favourites, Bonnie Joan and American Tart, drawn outside us.”
C A Penny has had a rather unusual preparation for a group race on show day – a trip to Palmerston North.
“She was a little bit indifferent when we raced her at Addington in September and weren’t quite sure whether it was muscle tie-up or something else.
“We got her right but then decided Kaikoura was too far to go for one race given the long, windy, inland road.
“We’d been to Palmerston North before and thought it would do her good to take her on a trip there to race twice.
“She definitely needed the run the first day and on the second day she fought the boring pole the whole way in running third.
“Scott Phelan drove her and came in and said perhaps it might pay to take it off her again.”
Shutkowski says C A Penny took huge fitness benefits from the two runs and has come on in leaps and bounds in the fortnight since.
“Hell yes, she is fit.
“She has done plenty of work; I do a fair bit of heat work and interval training with her.”
Shutkowski works her in company with his other starter in tomorrow’s race, Molly Sims, the rank outsider with bookies at $121 despite drawing barrier one.
“The only thing wrong with ‘Molly’ is that she doesn’t have high speed.
“But if they go fast enough she won’t be out of her depth.”
You can’t be too confident when travelling to the big smoke and taking on bigger stables, but Shutkowski thinks he and driver Jimmy Curtin have a good chance of repeating last season’s heroics.
Regardless of what happens, C A Penny will soon be put in foal, hopefully to champion sire Art Major.
“We’re going to start trying to put her in foal with Art Major next week.
“We have been advised that there is a problem with him having a ‘blocked tube’ and that is preventing him from functioning as well as they would like.
“So, it’s day by day with him and you just have to hope for the best.
“We’ll give him three weeks to try and do the job and then we might look at other stallion options.”
“She’s a Listed winner and Group 1 and 2-placed, and she’s seven now, so it’s the right time to retire her.”
Despite being semi-retired and only training a couple of horses, as well as running a vineyard, Shutkowski and his wife Petrina have actually immersed themselves in breeding more horses.
“We already have two mares at stud and Molly Sims will make it four next year.”
They also have foals and young horses on the ground by Net Ten EOM, Betterthancheddar, Shadow Play, American Ideal and McArdle, so there is plenty to go on with.
“We aren’t getting out of the game by any stretch.
“Quite the opposite.”
- NZ Harness News
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