Day At The Track

Aloka unbeaten at Ascot Park

09:00 PM 12 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Aloka.Harness racing
Aloka winning at Ascot Park
Photo Bruce Stewart

It's great when a plan comes off - and it did yesterday when the Nigel McGrath trained three year old Aloka won the House Of Travel Lakers Summer Cup at the Northern Southland Meeting. 

"Nigel wanted the race run at tempo from the front. He was on his hands and knees at the finish but everything else was as well luckily," said driver Blair Orange.

Orange took the Bettor's Delight colt straight to the lead and made sure the race was run at even quarters. 

"He's not with the top tier of three year olds but he is with the ones in the middle. There's still a few things he does wrong but I think he'll get better and be a better horse in twelve months."

The winning margin was two and a half lengths with a game The Big Boss, which sat parked for most of the trip, finishing second. 

The overall time for the 2700 metres mobile was 3-21.0, a second outside the track and Southland record for three year olds of 3-19.1 held jointly by Highview Tommy (2009) and Eamon Maguire (2017).

Aloka remains unbeaten at Ascot Park. In his only other start on the track last April as a two year old, he won the Diamond Creek Farm Two Year Old Classic.


Returning to the birdcage                                           - Photo Bruce Stewart.

The win was one of three for Orange, the country's leading reinsman. The others were with the Clark Barron trained Giftofjoy and another McGrath trained runner Gore Bay. 

Orange says it's likely Aloka will be back in late April to contest the $45,000 Group Two Alabar Southern Supremacy Stakes on Diamonds Day. 

Aloka has a full-brother in next months Sale of the Stars in Christchurch.

Meanwhile Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray and stable driver Brent Barclay scored a treble at the meeting yesterday. The three winners were Bettor B Ready, Zealand Star and The Heart Rulz.

Bruce Stewart
Southland Harness Racing

Aloka winning his race.

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