Armori and two of her co-owners, Tony Gow, of Mosgiel
(left) and Peter Soper, of Dunedin, after their win at the
Forbury Park Trotting Club meeting last night. Photo by
The Brighton-trained Armori gave her connections a thrill
with a runaway win in the mobile maiden trot at Forbury Park
last night. But it could easily have been a different story.
The 4yr-old mare was very keen in only her second run behind
the mobile barrier and, according to trainer-driver Graeme
McLay, hit her head on the barrier arm and galloped just
before the start.
When several others, including the $1.90 favourite Chiola
Belle, also galloped, starter Wayne Ferguson declared a false
At the next attempt, Armori trotted safely out of the gate,
eased to the lead with 1500m to run and won as she liked by
more than six lengths from the Mosgiel-trained
McLay, who part-owns Armori with Tony Gow (Mosgiel), Peter
Soper (Dunedin) and Denise Gow (Dunedin), said he had been
glad to get a second chance last night after the false start.
"She really won easily in the end."
McLay, who works as a groundsman at the University of Otago,
trains Armori on the beach south of Brighton.
He has now trained and driven four winners, including
Tumundal, a 7yr-old full brother to Armori, which won at the
Tuapeka meeting in 2009, then returned to win again at
Forbury earlier this year when trained by Graeme Anderson and
Mr Gow said Tumundal was in Auckland awaiting transport to
Australia where he will do his future racing.
The owners have also experienced the down side of the racing
game, losing Higgeldy Piggeldy, a full sister to Armori and
Tumundal, about six years ago.
She had shown promise as a 3yr-old but died from a bladder
• There were jubilant scenes after De Bon Vouloir's runaway
win in the Trillian Trust Mobile Pace.
Owners Steve Goodwin, Brian Glover, John King and Robert
Wilson celebrated with unrestrained enthusiasm after the
4yr-old gelding swept down the outside to beat Caesar and
Ride in a Pontiac.
The owners said they had "waited a long time" for the gelding
to fulfil his potential, having tried the patience of three
previous trainers before the horse was given to Geoff and
Judy Knight at Roxburgh to try.
"They have turned this horse around," Mr King said.
The key had been "straight line" training, using the former
aerodrome at Roxburgh.
De Bon Vouloir takes its name from Mr Goodwin's family crest
and, roughly translated from the French, means "to serve with
honour", he said.
• Here We Go Again made an impressive return to racing after
a five-month break, easily winning the Washington VC Mobile
Pace in a 1.59.7 mile rate for the 1700m, scorching home in
57.5 (800m) and 28.8 (400m) into the teeth of a bitterly cold
Here We Go Again, trained at Burnham by Jamie Gameson, led
for the last 1300m for Tim Williams.
It was her fourth win from 20 starts and took her career
earnings past the $102,000 mark but she still has some way to
go match the impressive record of her dam, Kym's Girl, best
remembered for her upset win in the 2001 New Zealand Cup for
Colin de Filippi.
Kym's Girl (1.57.3) won 18 races and more than $600,000,
including a win in Australia.
• Leif Erikson, the promising Westwood Beach-trained 5yr-old,
added to his impressive career with a last-to-first effort in
the Wobblys Sports Bar Mobile.
It was the gelding's fourth win from 10 starts, impressing
his driver, Jonny Cox.
"He's a nice horse and he can sprint like that if he can be
saved for that one run. He'll win a few more, too," he said.