PANSPACIFICFLIGHT gelding Arden’s Concord posted his fifth win when he demolished a handy field of C2-4 pacers at Oamaru on 28 August.
Driver Rory McIlwrick took luck out of the equation with the warm favourite, pushing him from three back on the fence into the lead after 700 metres of the mobile 2600-metre event. He dictated the pace and the five-year-old ran away to score by an ever-widening five and a half-lengths, scorching over his last 800 metres in 55.7 with the final quarter in 27.8. The overall time was 3:15.6.
Arden’s Concord has been in great form for Dunedin trainer Graeme Anderson, winning twice and placed second three times in his last five starts.
Click here to watch Arden’s Concord in action at Oamaru
MACCA LODGE export Concorde Dawn has kept Panspacificflight’s record moving as a sire in Australia with an impressive win in Victoria.
After a second in her first start across the Tasman at Yarra Valley, she sat parked out and rated 1:59.7 for the mobile 2190 metres when successful at Shepparton on 12 August.
From the Gretna Hanover family, Concorde Dawn won once and had three seconds and two thirds for Macca Lodge trainer Tony Stratford before being sold.
Still a three-year-old in Australia, she’s one of six winners so far from Panspacificflight’s second New Zealand crop, which features Group I winner Arden’s Choice, who has been a fantastic advertisement for the Macca Lodge sire.
The other winners from that crop are Ansett Flight, Arden’s Legacy (who was third in the 2015 Kindergarten Stakes before being exported), Julia Lady and Sally Maclennane.
MACCA LODGE employee Mark Gutsell has bragging rights at work this week after his horse Frank The Tank won fresh-up at Gore on Sunday.
Mark part-owns and trains the Royal Mattjesty gelding and is fleetingly ahead of Macca Lodge trainer Tony Stratford on the 2016-17 premiership with one win from one start.
The best Tony could manage on the day was a third with Ted Cady and a fourth with Mucho Macho Man.
Frank The Tank, who won fresh-up for Clark Barron last season, has now won twice from six starts. The punters didn’t miss an impressive workout win the week before and he went out a warm second favourite.
Mark previously enjoyed good success with Run Fatboy Run, who won five races here before being exported in 2014. He’s won a further six in Australia for his New Zealand owners, most recently at Albion Park in Brisbane on 20 August.
SOMEBEACHSOMEWHERE gelding The Honey Badger was honoured as last season’s top Southland two-year-old colt or gelding at the province’s annual harness racing awards in Invercargill on 15 August.
Trained at Macca Lodge by Tony Stratford, The Honey Badger won twice last season. He’s owned by Macca co-proprietor Caine McIntyre and his brother-in-law Paul Hailes, who bred the gelding from his family’s good mare, Glenburn Jewel.
The Honey Badger is set to resume at the Invercargill meeting in mid-September. If he shapes up as well as expected, he’ll head to the Sires’ Stakes heat at Forbury Park in October.
PANSPACIFICFLIGHT progeny continue to rack up wins in Australia.
The latest winners were Wattlebank Flyer, in New South Wales on 14 August, and Straight Through Blue, in West Australia on 15 August, who were both posting their second wins.
Wattlebank Flyer won one race for Tim Trathen in Canterbury before he was exported. Winless in a Queensland campaign over the summer, he found the opposition a lot weaker over the border at Tamworth and bolted in for Barty Cockburn after leading all the way over a mile in a sedate 2:01.6. He paid just $1.10 to win.
Straight Thru Blue was also strongly favoured when he won his second race on the Pinjarra track. He led all the way over 2185 metres, comfortably holding out a former Macca Lodge stablemate Suzie’s Gem in a mile rate of 1:58.8.
Straight Thru Blue is out of the Badlands Hanover mare New York Franco. Bred by Brent, Sheree and Caine McIntyre at Macca Lodge, he was placed three times for Tony Stratford at Forbury Park last winter before being exported. His younger half-sister, Alabama Shakes (by Changeover), went 1:54.6 as a two-year-old in Australia last season after also being developed at Macca Lodge.
Both Wattlebank Flyer and Straight Thru Blue are from Panspacificflight’s first New Zealand crop. His frozen semen isn’t available in Australia.
PANSPACIFICFLIGHT mare Arden’s Choice has taken her earnings past $200,000 during her winter campaign in Auckland.
The Group I winner rounded off her three-year-old season with an impressive win at Alexandra Park on 29 July. After seconds at her two previous starts, she was a hot favourite in the 2200-metre mobile event. Handled patiently by Zac Butcher, she came with a well-timed run to beat Mr Handleman by half a head in a time of 2:41.2.
Easily the best-performed of Panspacificflight’s New Zealand progeny, Arden’s Choice has now had five wins, nine seconds and three thirds in her 27 starts for stakes of $212,000.
You can watch Arden’s Choice’s latest win here