By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Jason Teaz has taken on two roles at Manawatu Raceway this week and he is loving every minute of it.
With TAB Trackside’s decision not to have a race caller on track, the local club approached the former commentator, now trainer, to see if he was interested, and he has duly obliged.
The Waikato horseman admits race calling is his biggest passion and he is enjoying being back behind the binoculars, even if it is only the local crowd who get to enjoy is talent.
“I am loving it,” Teaz said. “Since I was made redundant it has been tough not commentating, especially when I was calling three or four meetings a week.
“It is the thing that I am passionate about in life and I am thrilled that Manawatu have given me the opportunity.
“I was rapt to be asked and it was a no-brainer for me to do it.”
While he doesn’t have the same equipment he is used to from his six years calling for Trackside, Teaz said his more primitive gear this week has brought back some fond memories.
“We weren’t able to use the Trackside equipment so we had to use the on course gear. It was like when I first started calling trials at some of the bush tracks growing up,” he said.
“Once I started it flowed really well and a lot of people on course were really happy with it.
“I am not sure how much further it will go, but I am pleased to be doing it. The club cops a bit of a raw deal because they are not likely to have any on course callers for the whole season.
“They get quite big crowds for their Tuesday and Thursday meetings, so I can understand where they (club) are coming from.”
Teaz will once again take up the binoculars at Manawatu Raceway on Thursday and he is hoping his association with the club will continue into the future.
“I’ll take any opportunity I can get,” he said.
“I will just have to sit back and wait, I am still only 37 so I hope there is an opportunity somewhere down the line for me, but for now it is full-time horse trainer.”
In that role, Teaz will have two runners at Manawatu Raceway on Thursday, including Brookies Jaffa in The Cobb Manawatu Cup Mobile Pace (2500m).
“We have got a couple in. I like supporting the Manawatu Club and we have had some good success here,” Teaz said.
“The stakes are good – they are running for $16,000 in the Manawatu Cup so why wouldn’t you want to be here?”
Brookies Jaffa finished runner-up in the Palmerstonian Cup (2500m) at the track last month but pulled up lame, requiring a veterinary examination and treatment to his stifle, but Teaz said he is thriving ahead of Thursday’s test.
“He pulled up sore after that race and we had to x-ray him and try and find the problem. After the race he couldn’t even walk,” Teaz said.
“We had put a line through coming here but we found the issue and it wasn’t too serious and it was able to be fixed.
“He had a sore stifle and we are not sure how long he has had it. He did stumble quite badly during the race and to run second was a hell of a run because after the race the vet had to attend to him.
“We got him home and the treatment we have done seems to have helped.
“Since then his work has been tremendous, so we are quite looking forward to it.
“He is a trier and an old warhorse. He has had a few things against him in his life and he keeps bouncing back.”
Teaz will also line-up one-win trotter Love And Faith in the Outback Trading Handicap Trot (2500m).
“She is down here to learn. It is a good opportunity for her to have a trip away,” Teaz said.
“We have been a bit disappointed with her. She has taken a little bit to get fit so that’s why her first-up run wasn’t that good. She missed a bit of work with a few issues.
“Her run last week was better but we are just taking it week-by-week to get fit.
“She is certainly learning plenty on the trip. At her best you would hope that she would run in the top four in that race.”