Cambridge pacer Delight Brigade scored the richest win of his career in yesterday's Hawera Cup. The 5-year-old won the $16,900 race at the start, with a brilliant beginning from the 20m mark. That allowed him to surge to the front early in the race and give him the race-winning break over hot favourite Jarcullembra. The latter swooped to the lead at the 800m but Delight Brigade ran him down in the home straight to record his 11th career win for trainer Andrew and Lyn Neal, with Todd Mitchell doing the driving. Earlier on the programme veteran trotter Moment In Truth recorded his 19th career success for new trainer Derek Balle.
Riverton on tomorrow
All is not lost for connections of horses who missed out on a start at the abandoned Riverton meeting yesterday - the meeting will now be held at Wingatui tomorrow. The meeting was postponed after 6.5mm of rain overnight on the good (2) surface had caused concerns, Racing Integrity Unit stipendiary steward Mark Davidson said.
"It appeared OK, but you can never be guaranteed, so the decision was made to get a senior rider to gallop a horse. He galloped from the 1000m, and [slipped] once at the 800m and again at the 400m. He eased it down the straight and then put some pressure on [the horse] on the bend going out of the straight towards the crossing, and it slipped badly, fell and dislodged the rider."
A cloud hangs over the injury-plagued Knight's Tour, who has been sent for another break. The Reset 4-year-old, who beat the Cox Plate winner Ocean Park in last season's Great Northern Guineas, won three of his four races from Stephen McKee's stable before his career was halted by a tendon tear. "He had a long spell and then we had him back for three or four months before more tendon problems," McKee said. "We're giving him another break and you have to have some doubts if he can get back to where he was - he had a heap of potential."
Making large strides
Evathreestep is making strong progress toward resuming his jumping career and recent performances suggest he might first also add to his flat record. The 7-year-old finished a close first-up seventh in a Matamata sprint and showed encouraging dash to follow up with a fourth placing last month over 1600m at Te Rapa. "He's come up really well and we'll probably look to the hurdle race at Te Rapa next month with him," co-trainer Brendon Hawtin said.
Nowell to retire
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing's (NZTR) chief handicapper Dean Nowell will retire on July 31. "As part of NZTR's recent review of its handicapping processes, Dean was asked to relocate to Wellington. Due to his personal circumstances, Dean chose not to relocate and, instead, decided to retire," NZTR chief executive Greg Purcell said. Nowell has worked as a handicapper in New Zealand since 1981, when the handicappers were employed by the clubs, before NZTR contracted them.
Chequers Stud celebrates
Chequers Stud celebrated a royal result at at Meydan, Dubai, on Sunday when Lines Of Battle triumphed in the UAE Derby. The Cambridge farm stands the colt's half-brother Battle Paint, with their dam a half-sister to the champion stallions Dynaformer and Offlee Wild. Battle Paint is by the Storm Cat horse Tale Of The Cat, while Lines Of Battle is a son of War Front trained in Ireland by Aidan O'Brien. "We are very pleased with him and will now go to the Kentucky Derby," he said.Agencies