All Blacks: Two tests in one day for stay-at-home player

By Michael Guerin

Kieran Read. Photo / Getty Images
Kieran Read. Photo / Getty Images

All Black Kieran Read will be nervously watching the big one at home on television tomorrow.

And he might even get up early to watch the rugby test too.

Read has been given the weekend off by the All Black selectors, so will be at home while his teammates take on the Springboks in South Africa tomorrow morning.

But he and halfback Andy Ellis, who is in the reserves for the test, share in the ownership of three-year-old racehorse Victor's Delight, a favourite for a A$181,000 ($227,600) race in Victoria tomorrow.

The Pukekohe-trained filly contests the fillies pacing final of the Australasian Breeders Crown, one of nine New Zealand chances.

Read says he can't wait to see if his filly can do to the Aussies what his teammates did at Eden Park two weeks ago.

"It's pretty exciting because it is the biggest race of her career and worth a lot of money," said Read.

Read and Ellis share in the ownership with, among others, former All Black Dave Hewett and 1974 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Dick Tayler.

"It's a nice distraction from rugby and a lot of the boys like the horses.

"But to have a decent one racing in a big race is a lot of fun."

The race will be compulsory viewing in the Read household at 6.26pm tomorrow, Read's rugby test viewing plans are more flexible.

"I'd love to get up and watch the boys live but that might depend on my daughter, who is seven months old," he said. "She sleeps pretty well usually but if she is up and down all night I might have to watch it first thing in the morning."

Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu and Andrew Hore race horses, and lock Sam Whitelock's family's racehorses won a series of rich events this year.

All Black co-coach Steve Hansen is a keen racing fan, although not in the same league as former coach John Hart, who has raced dozens of winning horses including Auckland Cup winner Holmes D G.

- NZ Herald

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