By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Consistent pacer New York Minute extended his winning record this season to six when taking out the City of Palmerston North Festival Gold Cup (2500m) at Manawatu Raceway on Thursday night.
The Arna Donnelly-trained gelding sat midfield for driver David Butcher for the majority of the race before he was asked to improve three-wide shortly after the bell.
He assumed the lead down the back straight and was able to hold off the late challenge of American Me to win by a length, with a further 2-1/4 lengths back to Brookies Jaffa in third.
New York Minute finished third in the Hawera Cup (2000m) on Tuesday and Donnelly was pleased he could go two better a couple of days later.
“It was a great win,” she said. “He doesn’t really know how to go a bad race, he is super consistent.
“He raced super on the first day, he just got beaten by the draw.
“He got the job done tonight with a great drive from David.
“You wish you had a stable full of horses like this guy, he just tries so hard. He has had six wins and 10 places this season. He is a super consistent wee tradesman.”
Later on the card, stablemate Rough And Ready recorded his second runner-up result of the week in the T Market Fresh Mobile Pace (2500m).
“If he didn’t throw his head and himself around he might have got the money,” Donnelly said. “He is an unusual horse, but he has paid his way.”
Meanwhile, the Brent Mangos-trained Chris Kyle was victorious in the Pat O’Brien Memorial Graduation Final (2000m).
The son of He’s Watching began well from his ace draw for local reinsman Stephen Doody, maintaining his pole position.
The four-year-old gelding led throughout and ran away to a 1-1/4 length victory, redeeming himself to punters after breaking at the start on the first day as a short-priced favourite.
Thursday’s meeting brought the curtain down on the harness racing season in the Central Districts.