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Ashburton pacer Burlington should only get better after his emphatic debut win at Gore on Saturday.
The Brent White-trained 3yr-old scored an impressive four-length victory on the Gore grass track for driver Stephen McNally.
White said he expected the horse to get better given more time to strengthen.
"Eventually he will fill out into his big body. He is a really nice horse."
Burlington was given an extensive buildup with eight trials and workouts before his first start.
White said that was not completely by design.
"He had a wind operation — that was why he has taken a while. So we tipped him out and brought him back and he has had two runs at the trials and workouts before today."
Burlington was raced by stable client Ross McCutcheon, of Temuka, and White’s partner, Alanna Henson, at the beginning of this week.
By the time Saturday’s race had come around, half the shares in the pacer had been sold to a large group of White’s clients.
"We just sold half of him during the week. I had some owners who were looking for a horse. Ross and Alanna owned him and they both sold 25%."
Burlington could have been sold and racing much earlier in his career, but bad luck intervened.
"He trailed up as a late 2yr-old for another stable, but he trailed awful and it turned out he had a lung infection."
That bad luck now looks to have turned into good fortune for McCutcheon and Henson and Burlington’s new group of owners as The American Ideal pacer looks to have plenty more wins in store. Burlington is from Last Port Of Call, the last foal from prolific producer Port Medley. The family features prominently in breeder Tony Barron’s yearling draft at the coming national sales.
On-course patrons at Gore were sure White had scored a race-to-race double when One Apollo and Jen Jaccka went nose-to-nose up the straight.
Even Jen Jaccka’s owners, Charlie and Ailsa Smaill, thought their mare had got beaten until the judge’s call was announced.
Cast A Shadow caused an upset win in the Gore Grass Track Cup. The Invercargill pacer scored at $38-odds for breeder-owner-trainer Brian Nicol and driver Brent Barclay.
Cast A Shadow had battled in five starts this season before his last-start fourth behind Mighty Flying Art at Wyndham.
Nicol said he had taken time to get over a lung infection
picked up after racing in the South Of The Waitaki Series at Addington over winter.