Veteran savvy on and off track


Veteran 14yr-old pacer Motu Speedy notched the remarkable feat of winning his 14th race in his 12th season of racing at Forbury Park yesterday.

Driver Ben Laughton rated the evergreen equine to a highly popular frontrunning win in race 3.

Such is the longevity of Motu Speedy Star’s career, Laughton was a fresh-faced 11-year-old schoolboy attending St Thomas of Canterbury College when the horse was born.

And he was still in school and yet to start his career in harness racing when Motu Speedy Star first went to the races.

Despite their opposite status as junior and veteran, the pair combined perfectly to win.

Laughton rated the Eion Latimer-trained pacer faultlessly in front before he dug in to clinch victory.

‘‘He got to the front easy enough and Lats had said when he has been in front at the trials, nothing has been able to get past him,’’ Laughton said.

‘‘Nothing was really coming around at hot speed to take the lead off him, so we kept rolling and tried to take the sting out of him at the finish.’’

Motu Speedy Star is not just a remarkable equine specimen on the track. Off the track, his antics have to be seen to be believed.

The horse can walk himself to the wash totally unaided and without a lead. He knows once his gear is removed that is where he is to go — he has done it after 225 career starts.

Motu Speedy Star will then walk back to his race-day stall unguided and turn himself around and wait to be dried by one of his small team of hardy fans.

Those antics demonstrate the longevity of the horse’s career and so do his legs. Wear and tear on a knee and fetlock joint causes some concern for Latimer, but it not enough to stop the horse’s racing career. If it did, the trainer would not hesitate in retiring his durable 14yr-old.

At 8 years old, Oamaru trotter Pyramid Magic would be considered a veteran by many.

But he is not quite in Motu Speedy Star’s ultra-veteran status just yet.

But, like the pacer, Pyramid Magic was a good winner of yesterday’s feature trot.

The Phil Williamson-trained squaregaiter overcame traffic problems in the back straight to sprint hard to win race 5 for driver Brad Williamson, who also won race 10 as a trainer, driver and owner with Two Ply.

There were few more deserving wins yesterday than Pat The Monkey’s victory in race 1.

The tiny trotter capped his consistent form, sprinting from the trail to win for trainer Eian Lamb and driver Ricky May.

Westwood Beach trainer Graeme Anderon was assured victory in race 7, yesterday’s feature pace, when the field turned for home.

His horses, Bettor Sensation and Motu Top Mach, were about to set down to a titanic home-stretch struggle.

Motu Top Mach showed grit and determination beyond that of a 3yr-old having just his sixth start to nose out his stablemate.

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