Te Akau Omoto Racecourse – Greymouth Jockey Club Preview
1 Apr 2020
Te Akau Racing is proud to announce a new horse to team tangerine.
Phar Lap (Night Raid – Entreaty, by Winkie) dusts off the boots with a run tomorrow at Omoto.
The champion galloper has been back in work at the racecourse named in his honour at Washdyke, Timaru, just down the road from where he was born in Seadown.
Whether or not he can return to the form that saw him win 37 of his 51 starts remains to be seen, but trainer Jamie Richards believes he has his charge in pretty good order to resume.
“He’s been in work for most of the season,” new trainer Richards said. “Because of the layoff I’ve given him plenty of slow work, mainly down at the beach. He loves the variety and there’s always plenty of salmon fishermen around that enjoy giving him a pat.
“I’ve only given him two gallops and Opie Bosson was aboard for his last one and he seemed pleased with his work. There was a lovely bit of give in the ground and some low fog, but I could see enough to clock his last three in 36 and he wouldn’t have blown a match out when he came in.
“I’ve always left it up to the horse as to whether he could make a return and I reckon after seeing that work the signs are there that he’s ready to go. He’s eating his head off, rippling with muscle, and just brilliant in the coat.
Richards said that one of the reasons he and fellow owner David Davis were keen to see “Big Red” race again was the thought of chasing down 51 wins recorded by the ‘Washdyke Wonder’ Grey Way.
“I know it’s a long shot, but if he stayed sound I guess he could sneak a few wins closer to Grey Way. I was talking to his trainer Pat Corboy and he said the old grey kept getting better with age and hopefully our boy can do the same.”
When questioned about whether Phar Lap would return to Australia, the scene of his two Derby wins, two Cox Plates and a Melbourne Cup, Richards said it remained to be seen.
“We’ll just get him through this first one and take things from there. The Melbourne Cup has changed a bit since he last won it, but I’m sure the handicapper might be in his camp given his time away from racing. I’d love to get him back to the race in great order because he’d give it a shake and they’d be hanging from the rafters to see him.”
Happy April 1st – Phar Lap was trained by Harry Telford!