By Garrick Knight
When old mate Phil Williamson came calling with a horse, Tony Herlihy wasn’t going to say no.
But he admits neither man foresaw what a brilliant move it would be to have Kenny’s Dream shift from Oamaru to Auckland earlier this year.
The blueblood trotting mare went on a tear at Auckland through winter, recording four wins and two seconds from six starts for over $56,000 in stakes.
“Me and the owner (Williamson) were very happy,” Herlihy told HRNZ with a chuckle.
“Phil felt she had always been happier the Auckland way round so that’s why she came north.
“And once she kept winning, he said, why send her home? So, she stayed up here to spell, too.”
She resumes for the season at Alexandra Park tonight in a $25,000 mobile mile and has come up with the ace draw in a tidy field.
A trial behind the arm with the pacers at Pukekohe last week told Herlihy everything he needed to know heading in to this week.
“I gave her a bit of a blowout and was very happy; she found the line well.
“The mile will suit her this week, but if Credit Master goes like he did last time, he will take a lot of beating.
“He jogged it in 1.57 so I’d say she’d be flat beating him if he repeated that performance.”
But that’s not to say Herlihy doesn’t have ample time for the daughter of Dream Vacation.
On the contrary, he has nominated her for the time-honoured Inter Dominon series at Alexandra Park in December.
“I think she’s good enough to take on that class with a bit more racing and improvement.
“We can go in the heats at least and see where we stand. Ultimately, we’ll make a decision closer to the time.”
Herlihy and Williamson know a thing or two about good trotters, especially from that family.
Between them they trained Kenny’s Dream’s auntie, One Over Kenny, to win 32 races and more than a million dollars.
Perhaps Kenny’s Dream won’t match our greatest ever female trotter, but she’s got a heck of a lot of earning potential ahead of her.
It’s another mile night this week and Herlihy takes a big team of nine to the track.
Of his big team, Herlihy couldn’t single out a clear best chance, but believes the entire team are capable of running in the money.
“To be fair, they’re probably all each-way chances that just need a bit of luck in the running.
“I think if you went a dollar each way on most of them, you’d come out ok.”
Artemis is an interesting first starter, though has drawn the outside of the barrier in her maiden race.
She hails from a prolific family and is owned by former internationals Ant Strachan and Kyle Mills, as well as former trainer Gareth Dixon.
“Whatever she does, the experience will do her good.
“She’s showing a bit of promise and has just kept improving, it’s just going to be tough from the outside draw over a mile.