By Duane Ranger
One of Cambridge Raceway’s biggest supporters, who has been travelling the 750km return trip from Palmerston North for nearly 40 years, trained his first winner on the track in almost two-and-a-half years on Thursday night.
Manawatu-based horseman Stephen Doody trained Franco Empire, driven by Andre Poutama, to win the Montana Food & Events (2200m) Mobile for the R40 to R51 pacers.
Driven by Andre Poutama, it was the four-year-old gelding’s second win from 12 starts and his first start at Cambridge Raceway and he was a $1.80 favourite.
The last time Doody trained a winner at Cambridge Raceway, Poutama was also in the bike, behind No Bacardi Dammit on January 8, 2016.
“It was a special race to win because it was the first time my partner Nicky (Hurdle) had owned a winner,” said Doody. “She owns her with Marion Haydock, who owns the local ITM back home.
His breeders Spreydon Lodge, also share in the ownership.
“I’ll probably bring him back to the next meeting here on July 1. I think he’s got a win or two left in him.”
Poutama had the son of Lis Mara and Emaline Franco in the one-one early and were in the same position at the bell.
Then in the passing lane they got the better of Amaro and Dylan Ferguson to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths. The winning time was 2:464 (mile rate 2:01.7) and the duo came home in 59.7 and 29.3.
“His form was impeccable up until his unlucky last start seventh back home on May 24,” said 57-year-old Doody. “I haven’t got a big team going around at the moment but he and Commando One would be the best of them.”
Condensed results from June 7 Waikato - Bay Of Plenty Harness meeting at Cambridge Raceway were:
Race 1: The Mike Berger (Cambridge) trained The C E O (4 b g Gotta Go Cullect - Dana Maguire (by McArdle) Rodney Frampton (a).
Race 2: The Arna Donnelly (Cambridge) trained ROCK N SHARD (3 b f Rocknroll Hanover - All Time Glory (by Christian Cullen) Scott Phelan.
Race 3: The Stephen Doody (Palmerston North) trained FRANCO EMPIRE (4 br g Lis Mara - Emaline Franco (by Red River Hanover) Andre Poutama.
Race 4: The Todd Mitchell (Tauwhare) trained and driven CHEROKEE WARRIOR (5 b g Real Desire - Cherokee Franco (by Falcon Seelster).
Race 5: The Nicky Chilcott (Cambridge) trained and driven SHEZA SPRINGFIELD (6 br m Attorney General - Kandy Gloss (by Soky's Atom).
Race 6: The Andrew and Lyn Neal (Cambridge) trained CREDIT MASTER (4 b g Muscle Mass - Jessicas Credit (by Credit Winner) Lyn Neal.
Race 7: The Robert Dunn (Pukekohe) trained ZADAKA (5 b g Mach Three - Copper Beach(by Beach Towel) Jack MacKinnon (j).
Top Junior Driver: Jack MacKinnon.
Top Trainer: Seven races and seven winning stables.
Top Driver: Seven races and seven winning drivers
Top Stallion: Seven races and seven winning sires.
Extensive results can be viewed here: https://infohorse.hrnz.co.nz/datahr/results/060709rs.html