Wynne honours pledge to trainer Verlinden

Local trainer Barbara Verlinden headed the list of career firsts on yesterday's thoroughbred card at Wingatui by training her first winner.

The 5yr-old Shantav provided Verlinden with her first training victory thanks to a front-running Samantha Wynne ride.

In winning, the jockey also kept a promise that she would get Shantav home first in a race to register the trainer's first win.

That promise did not look as if it would be made good yesterday as Shantav was under siege at the top of the straight.

``I promised her I would, but I didn't know if it would work out,'' Wynne said.

The horse found plenty to hold off a line-up trying to out-sprint him at the finish. It was a strong win.

``He kept giving. He is a really honest type.''

Wynne thinks Shantav can add to Verlinden's tally shortly.

``She has done a really good job with him.

``I have been riding him three starts now and he's getting better and better. I think there's more to come.''

Verlinden, who described her win as a ``really cool'' experience, has a team of four gallopers in work at her North Taieri stables.

Those who arrive at her property will see more than four horses in their yards. The trainer also runs Silver Stream Horses, a horse riding school.

Verlinden, originally from Belgium, has an extensive background in a long list of equestrian disciplines.

The horsewoman came to New Zealand over 10 years ago, and subsequently ran a horse-trekking business in Queenstown.

Verlinden then moved to the North Taieri area seeking a change of lifestyle ``six or seven years ago'', she said.

She has been riding track work in the area.

Verlinden then went on to get her trainer's licence last season.

Shantav is the only horse the trainer has racing at the moment.

She has two young horses in work and also hopes to have a new prospect in Enviro Man at the races soon.

Shantav's training is made up of a mixture of track work at Wingatui, work on Verlinden's property and trips to the beach.

The diversity had helped improve the horse's race performances, Verlinden said.

There was no time for the horsewoman to hang about and celebrate her first training success. Immediately after washing her horse down after the race she had to rush back to the starting gates to assume her role with the southern region starting crew.

Two jockeys also ticked off career firsts on yesterday's thoroughbred programme.

Dylan Turner rode a winning double with Passito in race 3, and Higher Authority in race 5 on his first trip to Wingatui. It was the northern jockey's second time riding in the South Island.

Though he did not win, Otago Anniversary day of 2017 will also serve as a memorable date for Corey Campbell.

The 16-year-old White Robe Lodge apprentice had his first race ride aboard veteran steeplechaser High Forty in race 3.

A jockey at the opposite end of his career carried on his winning form from the weekend as soon as he got to Wingatui, yesterday.

After kicking South Island sprinting star Signify home in the listed Lightning Handicap at Trentham on Saturday, veteran hoop Chris Johnson won the first two galloping races on yesterday's programme.

Johnson led and won on both Pippi Rea in race 1 and Mia Mamma in race 2 to score an early double for Balcairn trainers John and Karen Parsons.

At the opposite end of the programme, Parsons' stable apprentices, Tina Comignaghi and Krishna Mudhoo, completed another double for the trainers, giving them four winners for the day.

Comignaghi rode My Chino to victory in race 6, the Beaumont Racing Club's feature race, The Publicans' Cup.

Mudhoo then scored on She Rocks in race 7.

The Parsons were the second husband-and-wife training partners to train four winners in Otago within the last two days. Harness racing trainers Geoff and Jude Knight achieved a quartet of wins at Oamaru on Sunday.

 -  Jonny Turner

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