By Garrick Knight
A spur-of-the-moment decision has paid dividends for Invercargill horseman Steve Lock, who prepared a quinella on the grass at Waterlea on Sunday.
Lock brought six horses the length of the South Island for the four days of racing, firstly in Nelson last week and then in Blenheim this week.
After three thirds, a fourth and four fifths across Nelson and day one at Waterlea, he was hoping to break his duck on the fourth and final day.
He went close with Maximilian in a mobile sprint earlier on the card, but it was the honest toiler, Honour Scroll that broke through, setting up a $101.70 quinella with stablemate, Kansas City Jim.
Needless to say, Lock isn’t looking forward to going back to Southland.
“I’m in no rush to go home.
“In fact, I think I might have a week or two in Canterbury first.
“We were thinking about going to Manawatu but a few of our horses wear spreaders and I’m not sure it the track would suit them.”
The trip north wasn’t in the pipeline for long, more an instinctive move to avoid dreary weather.
“The plan was hatched after the Cromwell meeting. We were sitting there at 10 o’clock at night and Rory (McIlwrick) said to me, Nelson and Marlborough looks like a decent option.
“We were getting sick of the rain and what not back home and here we are.
“So it was his doing, his planning.”
Ironically McIlwrick wasn’t actually driving Honour Scroll, instead sticking with the runner-up and that left Kerryn Tomlinson to continue her charmed run by recording another win.
“Kerryn seems to get on well with Honour Scroll, so I was happy to keep her on.”
Lock left Invercargill with seven horses, but lost two and picked up one on the way north.
“I re-homed Tact Denzel on the way up and then called in and did a swap for My Nikalya, too.
“I would have brought seven but I needed the seventh bay in the truck for all the feed.”
Lock spoke effusively about club officials from both Tasman clubs, saying they’ve gone abo end beyond to make him feel welcome and accommodated.
“I really can’t thank the two clubs enough for what they have done for us.
“A lot of clubs could learn from how both Nelson and Marlborough operate their meetings.
“And the horses have just enjoyed their trip away with the sun on their backs; they’ve been so relaxed.”
Later in the day, Stars Tonight continued a brilliant summer for his connections, with a dominant win in the $15,000 Waterlea Centenary Marlborough Cup.
He adds that to his Westport Cup win on Boxing Day, and the Cup prelude he took out at Waterlea on Friday.
Dunn trained the quinella with Hayden’s Meddle tracking through for second while Dadndave finished on out wide for third.