Ashburton harness racing driver John Hay carries a lot of respect when he takes his horses to the front and that was evident today (Mar. 18) in the $20,000 MLT Wyndham Centennial Cup over 3200 metres.
By the time Wheels Of Fortune (Always B Miki) had stepped from the ten metre mark and filled his hopples he’d taken the lead and there he stayed.
“He probably lacks a bit of real high speed but he keeps rolling and that suited him today,” Hay said after the win.
Got You Covered (Art Major) which sat parked from the 1200 metres ran second, a length and three quarters from the winner.
The winning time of 4-02.8 was well outside Franco Ledger’s (Falcon Seelster) current track and Southland record of 3-57.0 which was set in February 2014.
Four year old Wheels of Fortune has achieved a strong beginning to his racing career, having won five of his just ten starts.
“He’s a pretty laid back fella and one day the penny will drop. He’s done a pretty good job without it dropping. I think he’s a nice horse in the making.”
WHEELS OF FORTUNE REPLAY
Hay won the Wyndham Cup in 2005 with McKnight (Sir Vancealot) which was owned by Peter Cates. Cates shares in the ownership of today’s winner Wheels Of Fortune, with his two daughters.
Cates also won the Cup in 2007 with Bondy (Live Or Die) trained by David and Catherine Butt.
“Peter really likes Wyndham. He’s had a long association with the Hunter family so he would have got a great thrill watching at home.”
Hay has a strong association with the Southland province, having begun his career in the south. He’s also driven two Kindergarten Stakes winners on the Young Quinn raceway, Franco Tamboura (Falcon Seelster) in 1999 and Franco Trubrooke (Live Or Die) in 2001.
Today’s Centennial Cup was part of the Country Cups series with the $40,000 Southern Final set to be run on Diamonds Day at Ascot Park on Sunday 23rd April. The grand final is the Listed $90,000 Country Championship at Addington on Friday 12th May.
For complete race results, click here.
by Bruce Stewart, for Harnesslink
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