Matthew White was delighted to secure his first solo training win in New Zealand on Thursday when Carse O Fern Tom took out the Oktoberfest, 3rd October Mobile Pace (2200m) at Cambridge Raceway.
The local horseman had been training in partnership with Mike Berger last season and previously trained in Western Australia, but getting off the mark on his own account in his homeland meant a lot to White.
“It’s great to get that first win on the board, especially on the home track,” he said.
“I thought it was the right sort of race for Carse O Fern Tom. They have gone 2.46, which is his go.”
White was also pleased to pick up a couple of placings with stablemates Emmber and Thee Old Bomb.
“Emmber went really well, I was rapt with her,” he said. “She had to sit parked and got a bit keen and was pulling a bit, so I was rapt with the way she finished it off.
“Thee Old Bomb had to do a bit of work early and there were a couple of horses who had the cold shot on him.
“He’s still a bit on the weak side, so I am just going to tip him out now for a couple of months and bring him back in and race him around Christmas time.”
White also picked up another win in the sulky when steering home the Ross Paynter-trained As Free As Air to take out the McMillan Equine Feeds Trot (2200m).
“I thought if she did everything right she would go well. Her manners were good and she was too good in the end.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton trainer Graeme Rogerson experienced another strong night at Cambridge Raceway, securing a winning double with She Reigns and High Point.
“We rolled out the A team so we expected to have a good night and they raced up to scratch again,”
stable foreman and driver Dylan Ferguson said. “It was good to get a couple of winners again.
“She Reigns had to trot a New Zealand record to win, so it was a good effort from her. She was the class horse of the field and that really showed in the last 100m.
“High Point got a lovely trip again. She is a lovely, honest mare and she is the ultimate racehorse really.
“She has got good gate speed and good manners and that takes them a long way in life and it’s going to take her a bit further yet.”
The Rogerson team also secured a placing with Meetmeinsorrento in the BO & CO Electrical Mobile Pace (2200m).
“It was a good effort by Meetmeinsorrento, he paced a lot better tonight. He just got swamped in the last stride. It was still a good effort and the horse that beat him (Down The Hatch) has been racing at Auckland.”
With COVID-19 level 3 restrictions regionalising racing, Ferguson said the Rogerson barn has been able to take advantage of that in the last few meetings at Cambridge.
“We had three winners last meeting and two winners this meeting, so it’s been great,” Ferguson said.
“It’s great that we can keep racing and everyone is happy to do their bit to make sure we can keep racing.
“We rolled out a couple of horses tonight that would normally go to Auckland. But because of the regionalisation of racing we took a bigger team to Cambridge, so it was good to get the results.” - Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk