Novena Rose blossoms

NOVENA ROSE, one of the most impressive qualifiers in┬áSouthland this season when trained at Macca Lodge by Tony Stratford, hasn’t taken long to make an impression in Australia.

Sold for big money in December, the American Ideal three-year-old has won her last two starts in Victoria. On 31 December she led all the way over 1720 metres at Melton, posting a mile rate of 1:55 and running her last half in 55.8. And she followed that up with a win over 2150 metres at Bendigo on 06 January, sitting parked out for the last lap and rating 1:59.9.

The new connections include Victorian harness racing enthusiast Harvey Kaplan and big-time NZ owner Trevor Casey (Stent, Waikiki Beach, Lazarus). Novena Rose is trained by Andy Gath and has been driven in her two wins by his wife Kate.