Local winners on and off the race track


Wakefield’s Robert Stuart may be the official trainer of Dana Dawn which won the More FM Mobile Pace at the Nelson Harness Racing Club’s Winter meeting on Sunday, but it was his wife Sue who played a key role in the win.

The Stuarts completed a successful meeting with Dana Dawn finishing second on the first day before winning by three-quarters of length on Sunday. It was Dana Dawn’s first win from nine starts and Robert says Sue was largely responsible for preparing the three-year-old gelding for its maiden win.

“I’d been really busy at work up until we finished in May, so Sue was doing all the track work with him – it’s been a good partnership,” Robert says. “Sue deserves most of the credit and so does (driver) Samantha Ottley – she’s driven him four times now and all four have been great drives.”

Robert and Sue race Dana Dawn, who they lease from Teapot Valley owner-breeder Wayne Jennings.  Wayne qualified the horse before leasing him to the Stuarts last August and Robert says “he has always shown a bit of ability but just needed time to mature”.

Waimea West owner-breeder George Hill also had success when Cullen’s Lady recorded her maiden win on the first day of the meeting. However, Cullens Lady couldn’t back up on Sunday, finishing sixth in the Jennex Handicap Pace, one place ahead of George’s other horse and race favourite Arizona Atom.

The day improved for Stoke race fans Sue and Paul Bromell who won a family holiday to Hanmer Springs in the Lucky Losing Ticket Draw. Things were looking bleak for Sue and Paul, who had only two small collects between them, when one of Sue’s many losing tickets was drawn out of the Car Company car after race 10.

“I put at least 15 tickets in the draw,” I’d only had one small collect on the Cup but winning the trip makes up for that,” Sue says.

The feature race for the day, the Nelson Pine Industries Nelson Winter Cup, was won by Destined For Glory who also won the Winter Cup Prelude on Friday. Destined for Glory was driven by Methven reinsman Ricky May, who had a remarkable seven wins at the two-day meeting.