Day At The Track

Business Resumes For Gray

07:37 AM 08 Sep 2017 NZST
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Brett Gray
Photo - Bruce Stewart

Southland's leading trainer from last season Brett Gray, was back training winners at Winton today.

Four year old mare Ideal Conquest capped off solid maiden form by leading all the way to win the Terror To Love At Pinelea Farm Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace. 

She was bought by Winton Plumber Marty Fairbairn at the 2015 Australian Classic Yearling Sale when offered by Woodlands Stud on behalf of Charlie Roberts.  

"I thought she was sold. I was talking to Tony Barron and said to him - gee that was a cheap horse. A guy overheard me and told me the horse hadn't sold and would I help him out. The reserve was $5,000. I said give me a minute. I shot outside and rang Robert Symon. He's the man with all the money. 'Robert Butterworth' I call him. We bought her and decided that the girls (wives) would own her (Sharon Symon and Daphne Fairbairn). I took her home and the first thing she did was kick a horse I'd paid quite a bit more for. We discovered that you couldn't get near her so that's why she was a $5,000 purchase," Gray said.

Ideal Conquest is by American Ideal out of the one win In The Pocket mare Pocket Conquest. Her dam is the smart seventeen win mare Victor Supreme.

Her winning time over the 1609 metres today was 1-56.9 and she won by three lengths. She was driven by regular pilot Brent Barclay

Ideal Conquest winning easily

"She's such a big mare we wondered whether a mile was suitable. We were going to be looking for standing starts but she's got a bit of an attitude," added Fairbairn.

Some thought will be given now, to whether she'll be set for the Southern Belle Speed Series or take on more staying tests. 

"I haven't worked that out yet. We'll see what the owners think. We've just got to go with her rather than plan," said trainer Brett Gray

The Gray trained trotter Smokey Mac was sensational when he won Race Three.

The four year old Monarchy gelding was slow to go and settled well off the pace early. He was second to last of the main bunch with a lap to run. At the 400 metre mark he skipped for a few strides when following a retreating Our Budd and was taken back to last. As the field opened driver Brent Barclay wove a path through the middle of the field and he stormed home to beat pacemaker Scarlet Lane easily by a length and a half.  

Smokey Mac winning

"He was unbelievable. He had a wee skip and still won. He's perfect around the place but when he gets to the races he gets a bit hypo. We've had a couple of workouts but we've been careful with him because he can over race. He's got the ability but it's his attitude we have to work on," said Gray about the talented squaregaiter. 

"We just work him in the morning on the day of the races and that takes a wee bit of the sting out of him and try to take him onto the track as late as possible." 

Meanwhile Gray also won both the days qualifying heats.

The well bred Mr Kiwi, which is a half brother by American Ideal to Mr Mojito, won his mobile heat in 3-05.3. 

"He's pretty green. He's got a bit of ability but he just has to switch into it. I'll look to freshen him up."

The Ryal Bush trainer's second winner was Live Or Die entire The Heart Rulz. He's owned by loyal owner Caroline Pannett.

"She's getting excited and we're all happy for her. She's got a nice horse."

He's out of the three win Master Mood mare Nevalookbak. 

Bruce Stewart
Southern Harness Racing

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