Racing: Armori makes most of second chance

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 Linda Robertson.
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 Linda Robertson.
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 start.

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 MaidofDiamonds.

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 Amber Hoffman.

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 complaint.

• 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 easterly wind.

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.