Driver Gerard O'Reilly and trainer Warren Bartlett discuss
Austin Bromac's win at Oamaru yesterday. Photo by Matt
Home advantage is hard to beat, and North Otago trainers
made the most of their knowledge at the Oamaru grass track
harness meeting yesterday.
Big dividends kept rolling in throughout the afternoon,
starting with Maybe Flyin winning at $28.90 in the opening
event, a non-winners' mobile pace.
The Sands A Flyin mare was having her 28th start, but
trainer-driver Ray Needham, who is based at Hilderthorpe,
just north of Oamaru, always expected her to get at least one
''She's been unlucky two or three times on the way through up
to today,'' he said.
''She's taken a wee while but it doesn't matter. She'll go on
a bit yet.''
Needham had the mare sitting parked outside the leader for
much of the race, but he did not mind her facing the breeze.
''She doesn't pull or anything. She just sits there good and
you're always handy when you're turning for home.''
Needham bred the 5yr-old and decided to send the mare,
Tinamay, to Sands A Flyin, who made his name as a sire with
Monkey King. They were ''good all-round horses and good tough
horses'', Needham said.
''Toughness is what you look to breed into them, along with a
bit of speed.''
Maybe Flyin's 30th career start may be at Banks Peninsula
Many share in successThere were many owners on course to
watch Austin Bromac step out of the maiden grade for Oamaru
trainer Warren Bartlett.
The McArdle gelding led early and handed up, before driver
Gerard O'Reilly punched the 4yr-old up along the passing lane
to win by three-quarters of a length.
Bartlett has trained Austin Bromac for his last six starts,
after owners Michael and Sue McGuire offered him a half-share
and the chance to train the gelding following
three unsuccessful runs out of John Hay's stable.
Bartlett went about setting up the Deerball Syndicate, which
is full of North Otago residents.
''It's a mixture of friends. There are truck drivers, service
station owners and all sorts,'' Bartlett said.
Austin Bromac had been edging closer to a win with a
last-start fourth at Ashburton, and Bartlett has had to work
the big-framed gelding out.
''He's always been all right [but] he's got such a big body,
he's taken a bit of organising.''