Vanhalem upsets them at Cambridge

By Duane Ranger

Pukekohe conditioner Craig Sharpe trained $25.50 outsider, Vanhalem, to a three-quarter length victory at 'The Raceway' on Wednesday night.

The win in the sixth event - the $8,000 Mitre 10 Mega Cambridge Mobile for the R47 to R52 pacers was Sharpe's second Cambridge winner since training in his own right.

Sharpe's first Cambridge victory since splitting with Todd MacFarlane in 2014-2015 came via Rarangi Jewel on September 8, 2016.

He has now trained 86 career winners – six of them in his own name.

“I think it was more good luck than good training. He™s an honest horse but he got the trip to suit didn™t he? Zac (Butcher) did the rest,” said Sharpe who works for Ray Green in Pukekohe.

Vanhalem, who started from gate six (of eight) got a lovely suck into the race from McDaknife and Sailesh Abernethy, and was nicely poised in the one-one at the bell.

Butcher got the best out of the 7-year-old Santanna Blue Chip gelding and they hit the front just short of the line nailing the 2200m mobile in 2:45.9 (mile rate 2:01.3) and home in 57.5 and 28.7.

Sharpe and his partner Sheryl Hickey bought Vanhalem off Canterbury™s Michael House last November after he finished sixth at Manawatu. They won the following week at Cambridge.

"He went real well when I first got him and then his form plateaued out a bit. He was crook both days at Hawera, so it's good to have him back to somewhere where he should be.

"Like I said, he's an honest horse, without being a star, but he does try hard. He got the perfect trip which helped him a lot," Sharpe said.

Sharpe is renowned for getting horses from down south up and running. His last winner prior to Vanhalem was Prime Lustre last year, who Sharpe got off Woodville trainer Matt Hickey.

"I'm always on the look-out for another horse to train. Ray is real good to work for and he allows us to have a horse or two," Sharpe said.

Meanwhile Cambridge horseman, Mike Berger, was the most successful trainer at Cambridge Raceway on Wednesday.

Berger had two victories with The CEO (Philip Butcher) and Christanna (David Butcher) in races three and seven respectively.

They were Berger's ninth and 10 victories in 2017-2018.

Condensed results from the Waikato-BOP meeting at Cambridge Raceway were:

Non tote 2yo: Pace: The Brent Mangos (Pukekohe) trained and driven MAJOR EXPRESS (2 Br c Art Major - Macy Delight (by Bettor's Delight).

Race 1: The Nicky Chilcott (Cambridge) trained FLYING TAINE (4 Br h Pegasus Spur - Aquataine (by Brylin Boyz) Dylan Ferguson (j).

Race 2: The Todd Macfarlane (Pukekohe) trained and driven CAITLYN CLARKE (3 Br f Art Major - Motu Pocket O'Jewels (by In The Pocket).

Race 3: The Mike Berger (Cambridge) trained THE CEO (4 B g Gotta Go Cullect - Dana Maguire (by McArdle) Philip Butcher.

Race 4: The John & Josh Dickie (Clevedon) trained CULLEN'S CAVIAR (3 Br g Christian Cullen - Callie O'Malley (by Elsu) Josh Dickie.

Race 5: The Todd Mitchell (Cambridge) trained and driven MALABAR SPUR (5 B m Pegasus Spur - Malabar Hanover (by Malabar Maple).

Race 6: The Craig Sharpe (Pukekohe) trained VANHALEM (7 B g Santanna Blue Chip - Sam's Beach Babe (by Beach Towel) Zachary Butcher.

Race 7: The Mike Berger (Cambridge) trained and driven CHRISTANNA (4 B m Rocknroll Hanover - Lauraella (by Christian Cullen) David Butcher.

Race 8: Frank Cooney & Tate Hopkins (Taupaki) trained SOMEWHEREINBROOKLYN (4 B g Somebeachsomewhere - Saddle Ridge (by Artsplace) Josh Dickie.


Top Driver: Josh Dickie 2 wins.

Top Trainer: Mike Berger 2 wins.

Top Stallion: Pegasus Spur 2 wins.

Top Junior Driver: Dylan Ferguson 1 win.

Extensive results can be viewed here.



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