Sinnamon savouring a rare victory at Addington

Robbie Holmes drives Allandale to win for trainer Lionel Sinnamon at Addington on Sunday. PHOTO:...
Robbie Holmes drives Allandale to win for trainer Lionel Sinnamon at Addington on Sunday. PHOTO: RACE IMAGES
Age is not slowing Lionel Sinnamon down.

The 82-year-old Omakau horseman just had one of the biggest thrills of his more than 60 year career.

Sinnamon completed a long held ambition to win a race at Addington, bagging a victory with Allandale on Sunday.

The 5yr-old, owned by Sinnamon’s son, Graham, and his wife, Dianne, is just the second horse the trainer has sent to the unofficial home of New Zealand harness racing during a career which started in 1959.

"It something you aspire to — to be able to get up to headquarters and come home with the goods," Sinnamon said.

"I have only had one before — Idaten. We had him up there chasing Glide Time and Lord Module many years ago in the late ’70s.

"Timaru is usually as far away as we get."

Allandale came into Sunday’s race having already handed Sinnamon a training milestone.

The pacer’s victory at Ascot Park three starts prior was the trainer’s fourth win for the season.

That set a personal best tally, eclipsing his efforts in the six decades since Lyric Lady produced Sinnamon’s first win at a Vincent Jockey Club meeting in 1959.

"To win five is unbelievable when you think you spent plenty of years wishing you could win one.

"You have sort of got to pinch yourself to realise it is happening. We have been very lucky."

Although Allandale’s win ranks near the top of Sinnamon’s fondest harness racing memories, another of the horse’s victories ranks ahead of it.

"Our biggest thrill, no doubt, would be Allandale winning with Graham driving him at Omakau about 18 months ago. "They don’t come any better than that, on our home track with the whole family there."

Allandale was sent north to stay with Robbie Holmes, who drove him to win on Sunday, so Graham could again drive him in amateur driver’s races.

Alandale’s victory came in a heat of a regional racing series the Addington club is holding.

The pacer will stay in Canterbury and could contest further heats of the series while based with Holmes.

"We have had to rethink things. He was meant to come home after the second amateur race."

"But when he is racing as well as he is you have to go with the flow."

Allandale is one of three horses Sinnamon has in his stable, alongside Gabby’s Star and Fortywives, who is spelling.

"That is enough to keep me ticking over. I am bloody lucky to still be able to do it, really."


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