by Duane Ranger
Westwood Beach trainer Graeme Anderson had some happy times when he resided in Cambridge, but none more so than what he experienced at Cambridge Raceway on Saturday afternoon.
Anderson was not only made to feel welcome by the club and his former Waikato mates, but he also witnessed the best horse he has trained win the Group One $150,000 Allied Security Emerald for the 4yo pacing entires and geldings.
Anderson trained Eamon Maguire to 20 of his first 24 starts – winning nine races with him before making the astute move to transfer him to Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen in April.
Since then the Art Major gelding has finished second in the Group One Taylor Mile and Winter Cup, and won both the Group One New Zealand Messenger and now his Jewels crown.
"It made sense to send him to Mark and Natalie's. I did the same with Titan Banner. They can prepare good horses for the big meetings better than what I can down in Dunedin.
"I'm absolutely over the moon. I knew when Natalie lobbed him into the one-one he would be very hard to beat. Titan Banner was a very nice horse, but this fella has now won two Group Ones. He would have to be the best I've had," Anderson said.
Eamon Maguire was bred by Ray and Diana Kennedy, of Jubilee Park in Cambridge.
The Kennedys sold Eamon Maguire to clients of Anderson for $34,000 at the 2015 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch. He is now owned by Anderson, Pauline Gillan (Winton), Brian Sceats (Mosgiel), Ray Chalklin (Mosgiel), Stephen Pulley (Dunedin), and Tony Gow (Mosgiel).
Eamon Maguire drew 10 and Rasmussen pushed him through to have him situated in the one-one after just 150 metres. From there they just bided their time before pouncing in the straight.
He came home in 56.1 and 27.4, and had half a length to spare over second favourite Star Galleria (Zachary Butcher). He was the $2.40 favourite.
“The plan worked a treat and he will now be spelled with Mark’s other horses in a Matamata paddock before going back to Mark and Natalie’s in about six to seven weeks.
“It makes sense that they carry on with him. I’ve got to have an operation on my leg soon. It’s not serious but it will hold me back a bit. Mark and Natalie will prepare him better than what I could for the New Zealand Cup in November,” Anderson said.
Anderson said it was humbling to return to his old stomping ground.
“The people and the club were so welcoming. It’s like I was never away. I lived here in Cambridge for five years and then left for home (Dunedin) in 2001.
“Even though I was predominately working with thoroughbreds up here it was great to see my old mates like Andrew and Lyn Neal and John Dickie,” Anderson said.
“The club needs to be congratulated for the way it has staged these Jewels. It was a fantastic day and Dave (Branch) and his team need to be applauded for the way they have organised this event. They left no stone un-turned,” he added.
Anderson said he thought Eamon Maguire might go close, especially after what Rasmussen had been telling him earlier in the week.
“She loves the horse and told me he was working a treat. We all thought he would be hard to beat if he got the run to suit – and thanks to Natalie's superb drive, he got exactly that,” Anderson said.
Condensed results from Saturday's Waikato - Bay Of Plenty Harness JEWELS GRAND FINALS meeting at Cambridge Raceway were:
Race 1: The Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen (Rolleston) trained PRINCESS TIFFANY (2 b f Art Major - Dancing Diamonds (by Bettor's Delight) Natalie Rasmussen.
Race 2: The Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen (Rolleston) trained ENHANCE YOUR CALM (2 b g Majestic Son - All Settled Down (by Sundon) Mark Purdon.
Race 3: The Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen (Rolleston) trained SHEZ ALL ROCK (3 br f Rock N Roll Heaven - Irish Loch (by Mach Three) Natalie Rasmussen.
Race 4: The Steven Reid (Pukekohe) trained UTMOST DELIGHT (4 b m Bettor's Delight - Victor Supreme (by Placid Victor) Ricky May.
Race 5: The Paul Nairn (Leeston) trained HABIBI INTA (4 b h Love You - Ten To One (by Sundon) Blair Orange.
Race 6: The Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen (Rolleston) trained ANOTHER MASTERPIECE (2 b c Bettor's Delight - Elegant Art (by Christian Cullen) Tim Williams.
Race 7: The Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen (Rolleston) trained EAMON MAGUIRE (4 b g Art Major - Kim Maguire (by In The Pocket) Natalie Rasmussen.
Race 8: The Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen (Rolleston) trained WINTERFELL (3 br g Majestic Son - Una Bromac (by Live Or Die) Mark Purdon.
Race 9: The Cran Dalgety (West Melton) trained PAT’S DELIGHT (3 B c Bettor's Delight - Righteous Franco (by Falcon Seelster) Dexter Dunn.
Top Trainer: All Stars Stable - Mark Purdon & Natalie Rasmussen 6 wins.
Top Driver: Natalie Rasmussen 3 wins.
Top Stallion: Bettor’s Delight 3 wins.
Top Junior Driver: Ben Butcher - fifth in race three (Ivana Flybye).
Extensive results can be viewed here: https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/results/060209rs.htm