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Brent Barclay joined an elite group of Southland reinsmen to drive 800 winners at Ascot Park yesterday with a winning treble.
Barclay put on a display befitting his status as one of Southland’s most respected reinsmen with three pinpoint steers at New Zealand’s first harness racing meeting after the Level 4 lockdown.
Barclay summed up his achievement in typically modest style.
“Every win is a good win. It took a while, but it was good to be able to get there.”
Barclay reached his milestone by giving the Tony Stratford-trained Midnitetraintogeorga a perfect run in the trail in race 1.
The reinsman angled the filly into the passing lane before she cruised to a comfortable victory.
“She was good; she felt like she had a bit more there but she hasn’t quite switched on to it yet.”
Barclay made it win 801 in race 4, giving the Amber Hoffman-trained Heez Good the same perfect run in the trail to produce the same winning result.
“He felt like he is not a bad horse. He has still got a bit to learn yet but once he figures it out, he should be able to do not a bad job.”
Barclay sealed a winning treble when the Alister Black-trained Get Lucky bounced back to his best form in race 5.
“Alister was pretty happy with him before the race but he thought if he was 10m closer in the handicaps he would win.”
“But they only went 2.50 [for 2200m] and he finished it off pretty good.”
Barclay also produced seconds with Bettors Highlight (race 2), In The Groove (race 3) Total Eclipse (race 8) and Major Punter (race 10).
Two of those placings came for trainer Brett Gray, a key figure in Barclay’s career in recent seasons.
Complementing his driving career, Barclay and partner Lauren Pearson have produced strong results with the small team they train at Winton.
They are known for their ability to produce smart young horses often snapped up by Australian buyers.
Barclay is one of 10 harness racing drivers who are ambassadors for Harness Racing New Zealand’s Blue September campaign.
His three wins raised $900 for prostate cancer research.