The Channel Tunnel between England and France is completed. The tunnel is 50 km (31 miles) long and runs between Folkstone and Sangatte (near Calais). There are actually three tunnels, two for rail traffic and one for services and security.
The Fortex Meat company collapses.
War Hero Charles Upham dies.
Lee Tamahori's 'Once Were Warriors' and Peter Jackson's 'Heavenly Creatures' premiered. Jane Campion's 'The Piano (1993)won three Academy Awards - Holly Hunter for Best Actress, Anna Panquin for Best Supporting Actress, and Campion for Original Screenplay
Credit: Ch-Ch City Libraries
Weedons trainer Phil Williams died at the weekend, aged 74.
He held a licence for nearly 50 years, and during that time had "enjoyed the challenge" of training the trotter. For more than 20 years, Williams was private trainer for electrician Horry Alston.
His most important win was the 1962 NZ Trotting Stakes at Addington with Spark Gap, who won by eight lengths from Grand Charge and Dreaming. By Thunder On from Transmitter, Spark Gap also won the Canterbury Park Trotting Stakes in 3:16 from Flaming Way and Snow Globe.
Another good trotter was Resistor which he took to open class. Resistor's wins included a handicap at Westport over two miles off 108 yards. "I used to love going to race on the Coast circuit," he said.
Other notable training feats were winning a double the same day at Hutt Park with Queen's Jewel; finishing first and second in the Cheviot Cup with Mountain Tarn and Green Valley, and running 1,2,3 in a trot at Greymouth with Copper Wire, Wire Wound and Resistor's Sister.
Other useful horses he trained were Component, Avon Spark, Blue Adios, Blue Spark, Tranmitter Sound - later to give Maurice Holmes his last winning drive - and Astro Blue, who dead-heated for first with Noodlum in the Golden Slipper Stakes at Waimate.
The last horse Williams had been involved with was Alias Charm, who he passed on to be trained by his son, Austin.
Credit: NZ HRWeekly 30Mar94
The death occured in Christchurch last week of Bernard (Bernie) Wilks, who raced many fine horses, most of them in partnership with Maurice Holmes.
Tall and always impeccably groomed, Wilks was a steward of the New Brighton Harness Racing Club from 1964, joined the committee four years later and later became an honorary steward.
His two best horses were Wedgewood, who won 15 races, including the 1985 Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup, and Twinkle John, a Cup class pacer he raced in partnership with Sandra Wilkinson.
He won three Golden Slipper stakes with 2-year-olds trained by Holmes - Rossini (1968), Fidelio (1971) and Strauss (1972). Another top juvenile he raced in this period was Violetta, who won the Timaru Nursery Stakes and the NZ Welcome Stakes.
Credit: NZ HRWeekly 9Jun94
Patrick O'Reilly sen (73), a well liked and respected horseman in harness racing for 50 years, died at his Rakaia home. He had been in good health but suddenly collapsed and died after jogging a horse on his property. Resuscitation attempts were made by sons Kerry and Gerard without success.
O'Reilly was a most successful trainer and driver. He prepared a total of 341 winners and drove 190 winners. His first driving win was recorded behind Water Ranger at Hawera in 1945. The same horse gave Pat his first training success at Methven a year earlier when driven by Mawson Scoon. Water Ranger, by Sandydale from Gentle Oro, was leased as a 2-year-old from George Smart who was a Water Ranger from Chertsey.
O'Reilly trained many winners for his next door neighbour and good friend Bill Thomas including Black Diamond, Local Lie, Field Chief, Beverley Dawn and Mercury Light. Owners Laurie Broom and Harry Harrison were also held in high regard by O'Reilly.
Pat reliquished his reinsman's licence at the age of 65, along with Jim Ferguson and Owen Quinlan. That year the New Brighton club arranged for Pat and his four sons to drive in the Kevin Blair Pace at Addington on July 15. His best season was in the 1981-82 term when he prepared 22 winners. During 40 years on the track Pat was never suspended or fined for a race offence. He was regarded as a hard worker and any credit was attributed to a team effort by his wife Pauline and their helpers over the years.
Pat was born in Rakaia and one of 16 children raised by Maurice and Margaret O'Reilly. Other interests besides horses were rugby (most sports), his family and his trade as a farrier. He played for Mid-Canterbury as a first five for 15 years. O'Reilly learned his blacksmith skills from Methven trainer Clarrie May. Pat is survived by his wife Pauline and 10 children - sons Patrick jun, Kerry, Leo, Gerard and Denis, plus daughters Aileen, Maree, Janine, Kathryn and Irene.
O'Reilly's biggest wins include a NZ Cup with Spry (1969), two NZ Oaks with Swallow (1952) and Local Lie (1968), Wellinton Cup with Tehana (1958), Geraldine Cup with Just A Glow (1974), Rangiora Cup with Spry (1969), Nelson Cup with Prince Forbes (1971), Kurow Cup with Local Lie (1970), Hutchinson FFA with Local Lie (1971), Oamaru Juvenile Stakes with Direct Return (1969), Queens Birthday Stakes with Just A Glow (1974), Inter-Dominion Heat with Aqua Lady (1951), T S Harrison Stakes with Field Chief (1962), Waikouaiti 3yo Stakes with Adios Bachelor (1973). He also trained Elrana (1982) to win the Blenheim Cup, Signor Gabrielli to win the NZ Trotting Stakes (1984) and Norton to win the New Brighton Juvenile (1981), Celebrity Stakes (1981), Easter Cup (1984) and Pan Am Mile (1984).
Credit: NZ HRWeekly 20Apr94
SYDNEY - WEONA WARRIOR
The training and driving skills of New South Wales horseman Brian Hancock, a former coalminer who had already etched himself into Australian harness racing history, enabled him to score an upset win in the 1994 Inter Dominion Pacers Grand Final in Sydney with Weona Warrior. Ultra Jet finished second with Valley Champ next home.
Colin Calvert flicked through the racebook on his way from Chertsey to Addington on Tuesday, and couldn't help but remark to his wife Jeanne how strong the No.7 horses looked. There were six running - Perfect Trust, The Suileman, Lento, Diamond Field, Star Motoring, and the one they were towing in the float - Bee Bee Cee. "I said to Jeanne that seven is a lucky Chinese number, and there were all these good seven horses. I said she had to follow seven all day," he said.
By the time the DB Draught NZ Cup was run, The Suileman had run second, and Lento and Diamond Field had won. No.7 was going for three in a row when Jimmy Curtin, who picked up the drive this season after the Calverts shifted from Southland, went to the start. "The night before the Cup was the best night's sleep he'd had for two weeks," said his wife Sandy. "He wasn't confident, just so relaxed," she quivered. The drive was vintage Jimmy Curtin, though vintage could hardly describe Bee Bee Cee, whose win in the DB Draught NZ Cup at Addington was only his 27th start.
After a superb beginning that gave him the lead for a lap, Curtin found a hole for him three deep on the fence and put him to bed. He was wide awake and moving near the 600 metres, but Curtin set off after Master Musician with only slim hopes of winning and more for the minors. "We'll run second; that's the best I thought we would do," said Curtin. And that's how it appeared 200 metres, even 150 metres out, where Robert Dunn was suddenly showing signs of desperation in the cart. The race was taking a new turn. Bee Bee Cee had come out of the pack and continued bearing down on 'the Master' and relieved him of the lead inside the last 50 metres, winning in 4:01, which was a remarkable run in a wicked wind.
The Calverts were overcome at their good fortune, and although Jeanne said "it was an absolute dream," and "I can't really believe it," it was apparent that both had confidence in their young son of ill-fated Nero's B B. "We gave him four race day starts and six trials, which is what we planned. We wanted to win the Hannon, which we did, and the placing in the Flying Stakes was a bonus. I didn't mind what he ran in his trial last Thursday; all I'm interested in is what he has run his last quarter. He's a lazy horse and only does what he has to," he said. "You haven't seen the best of him yet," said Colin.
The success for the Calverts is remarkable, and makes a good story. Six years ago Colin was put off from his job at the Ocean Beach freezing works where he was a carpenter. Keen to train horses, Colin was given the chance when Jeanne kindly said she would continue her career in education and give Colin the opportunity he wanted. They had a lucky break early on by selling two maideners Full of Dreams and Temporary Profit, and the money they received from that allowed them to consider stepping up in quality. They went to the Ryal Bush breeder Russell Morton and bought the Nero's B B yearling from Classic Countess that was Bee Bee Cee.
It didn't take Colin and Jeanne long to realise that Bee Bee Cee was something special, and this in turn created a problem once he started running out of Southland classes. With the welfare of the horse in mind, they left Southland last year and settled in Canterbury. In between the sale and the shift, the Calvert's bought Classic Countess, in foal to Corsica Almahurst, after the mare was advertised for sale in the "Weekly." Classic Countess has since given them a colt foal this season by OK Bye, and has been served by New York Motoring.
Bee Bee Cee has never missed a beat from the time he started. Respected Southland driver Allan Beck won his first 10, and Curtin has been with him in his two this season.
In some ways this was a fairy-tale ending to an epic contest, given spice by the unexpected failure of the Purdon trio Chokin, Christopher Vance and Montana Vance, the huge performance by third placed upsetter Matthew Lee, and the disappointing showing by Desperate Comment.
Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HR Weekly
The dream continued for Colin and Jeane Calvert when their handsome pacer Bee Bee Cee took the $80,000 Air New Zealand Free-For-All. It has been a magical week for the Calverts who race NZ Cup winner Bee Bee Cee purely for enjoyment. For this reason the Calverts were faced with a difficult decision in whether or not to accept an invitation to contest the $A320,000 Sydney Miracle Mile.
The former Southlanders gained great satisfaction from Bee Bee Cee winning the Invercargill Cup last season and would have loved to return home for a second attempt. Colin Calvert said Bee Bee Cee could not race in both and the change in conditions of the race swayed him towards the Miracle Mile. "If we raced in the Invercargill Cup (Dec 17) we would have to start from at least 30m as the race has changed from a mobile to a two mile stand - in the end I wasn't keen in starting him from that far behind when we can run in mobiles. The other reason for going was winning a race like the Miracle Mile could help him as a stallion," said Calvert.
It may seem an easy decision when looking at a $25,000 race compared to one worth $A320,000 plus speed bonuses. But the Calverts look after Bee Bee Cee first before looking at financial reasons and want him cherry ripe for the Inter-Dominions at Addington next year. A start for him in the Auckland Cup is still undecided. "Money has never been an issue and the welfare of the horse has always been put first," says Calvert.
Bee Bee Cee, Colin Calvert, Master Musician and Bruce Wylie will travel north by truck on Thursday morning. Bee Bee Cee will stay at Dale Cameron's in Waiuku before flying out of Auckland to Sydney on Monday night.
Tactics became an important part of the Free-For-All. Bee Bee Cee took the lead early before driver Jimmy Curtin allowed Blossom Lady to take up the running. Curtin knew all too well that Blossom Lady has a tendancy to run outwards in the straight. Bee Bee Cee, who became the 24th horse to win the NZ Cup-FFA double, did well after the Cup. "He came through the race brilliantly and if anything it sharpened him up for today's race," said Calvert. Bee Bee Cee recorded 2:26.6 for the mobile 2000m with the leaders running their last 800m in 56.7.
The favourite Master Musician was gallant in defeat after facing the breeze over the last 800m and Lento ran on well for third. Blossom Lady faded to fourth just ahead of October Atom. "She received a good run through on the rails," said Lento's driver Clark Barron. "She ran on strongly without threatening the first two."
Credit: Philip O'Connor writing in HRNZ Weekly
For Robyn's Treasure, who produced a powerhouse finish to win the $60,000 Nevele R New Zealand Oaks (2600m) at Addington, practise made perfection. "The last three weeks I have concentrated on teaching her to stay and sprint home," said Whiterig (Gore) trainer Ross Wilson. "She has a tremendous sprint if you can sit and wait to use it."
Robyn's Treasure began from position 8 on the front line with Ricky May electing to ease her back from the wide draw. She was last with 600m to run and had to fly over the concluding stages to pick up the pacemaker Pretty Kiwi. There was a nose back to Perpetual Fiddler who fought on well for third. "Ricky said to me we were going to need a lot of luck from the draw," said Wilson. "And I told him he was the right man for the job." Wilson said that regular driver Ken Barron had done a good job but May had been given first choice seven months ago. "Ricky drove Robyn's Treasure to win her first race at Gore and we said to him then that we would give him first option to drive her," he said. "She won by more than six lengths that day."
Robyn's Treasure had one workout as a 2-year-old and was subsequently turned out to mature. The large Son Of Afella filly has shown Wilson that she has a mind of her own. "She is a hyper-active horse and has wrecked all of my carts," He said. "She is just learning how to settle now." It was Robyn's Treasure's second trip outside the Southland-Otago area. She had finished second to Countess Caroline (forced out of the Oaks through injury) at Ashburton in the sixth heat of the DB Draught Fillies Series.
The victory took her career record to three wins, three seconds and four thirds from 14 starts - earning her owners Ross Wilson and Tapanui's Graeme Edgar $51,950. Robyn's Treasure had been going sound races against older horses in her lead up form to the Oaks and was credited with 1:58 when finishing third to Mickday over a mile at Invercargill at her previous attempt.
Wilson, who is a part-time farmer and employee of Crawford's Chemical Company, was asked to pick out a yearling for Edgar at the Southland Sale (yearlings and mixed stock) in 1981. Robyn's Treasure's dam Ryal Robyn was thus purchased for $1200. "It was a Southland family I liked and Graeme wanted a horse he could race and breed from later on," said Wilson. She won three races and recorded seven places for trainer Ray McNally before leaving her first foal Pride of Robyn (by Lordship) in 1986. She won two races and has since left a yearling by Vance Hanover. The second winner from Ryal Robyn was Robin's Lad (by Lumber Dream) who gained one NZ win before being sold to Australia. The fourth foal and other winner to date is Robyn's Treasure.
Ryal Robyn, by Nevele Bigshot from Ryal Faye, is a sister to Blue Sapphire (4 wins) and a half sister to winners Ryal Hanover and Van Baron. Her granddam Petronella (by Whipster from Ronella) left useful performers Vita Man (9 wins) and Kelly Dillon (3 wins).
Credit: Philip O'Connor writing in HRNZ Weekly
Someone as far away as Norway was tuning in to David Moss' delightful winning performance in the $100,000 DB Draught Superquad Dominion Handicap.
Part owner Captain Oddvar Andersen of Oslo managed to make the trip last year to watch his champion square-gaiter win the two mile feature but this time settled for the second best option. "Captain was ringing my brother Alistair in Auckland tonight to listen to the commentary," said John Cox whose late father Harry shared in the ownership of David Moss with Captain Andersen.
David Moss posted a NZ record when trotting the 3200m in 4:06.6 - 0.8 of a second inside Idle Scott's time achieved in 1992. He came with a big stayers finish in the straight to get past a gallant pace-making Call Me Now who fought all the way to the line. Breton Abbe was not far away in third placing after enjoying the trail. Diamond Field lost his chance at the start when breaking for Tony Herlihy.
Cox did the initial training of David Moss before handing the 11-year-old on to Bob Cameron at the end of October. The veteran of the field along with Game Paul (fourth), David Moss has an abundance of determination and sheer guts. He is unreal," said Cox. "He is all heart - it's the mark of a true champion. This was better than last year's effort." Captain Andersen and Cox discussed David Moss' future earlier this year. "We decided that everything from this season onwards is a bonus," said Cox. "Captain said that if he ever started to struggle we would retire him so he could finish on top."
The preparation of David Moss this time in has been a difficult task with the 'hamstring' muscle on his hind leg taking more time than expected to heal. It was an injury that forced him out of the Rowe Cup in May. "He would have gone up to Bob's stable earlier if he had been more forward," said Cox. "He had a few problems early on and it has been a bit of a worry. Bob has done a beautiful job with him and topped him off well."
Cameron drove David Moss in his second start this campaign at Gore on October 27. "He didn't feel 100% when I drove him at Gore," said Cameron who guided him to victory in last year's Dominion Handicap. "We have since made a few alterations to his shoeing to get him more balanced."
Maurice McKendry was the successful driver behind David Moss and enjoyed his first win in the race after some close placings in previous years.
David Moss became the first horse to win back to back Dominion Handicaps since Durban Chief did so in 1957-8. The Gekoj gelding will be prepared for a tilt at the Inter-Dominions at Addngton in March. "I was talking to Bob before the race and he is likely to stay with him now through to the Inter-Dominions," said Cox. David Moss has now won 27 races including two Dominion Handicaps and a Rowe Cup taking his earnings to $433,485. He was beaten a neck by Night Allowance in the Inter-Dominion Grand Final at Alexandra Park in 1993.
Credit: Philip O'Connor writing in HRNZ Weekly
The $125,000 John Brandon New Zealand Derby fell to Ginger Man, but victory in the classic was a close shave for the favourite.
Spirited opposition was supplied by Rare Touch, who put the breeze up the Ginger Man supporters when he almost levelled with the leader about 80 metres out. If it was not quite head to head, there was still very little between them as Ginger Man grimly clung to the tiny margin he had. "I thought about 50 metres out that I'd get to him," said Anthony Butt, driver of Rare Touch. "I have no excuses I didn't," he said. Knowing the class of the horse, Butt was not surprised Ginger Man responded the way he did, and won the Group 1 feature by a head in 3:15.7 - not the fastest but certainly hard and quick.
The race was a good one, made to a major extent by the closeness of the finish and that it involved the two favourites. Ginger Man led after 2000m, while Butt tucked Rare Touch under cover, within striking distance of the leader. He made his move with sudden quickness near the 500m, which effectively blocked He's Gotta Go from attacking on the outer. A betting person wouldn't have wagered on the outcome halfway along the straight, but near the end Ginger Man was giving as much as he was getting and survived, shakily but sure, by a head. He's Gotta Go was a safe third, not far behind, but not quite in the same class as the first two. The others, headed by Hoppy's Jet, were well beaten.
Ginger Man is the third successive New Zealand Derby trained by Roy and Barry Purdon, preceeded by Kiwi Scooter who Barry drove, and Mark Roy, handled last year by Barry's brother, Mark. A son of the deceased Vance Hanover, Ginger Man is raced by Greg Brodie, who will see the horse in his home state during the winter. Ginger Man will soon be off to Australia, where he will be cared for by Andrew Peace. He will contest three Derbies, including one in Queensland, where Brodie lives. The Derby win, worth $78,125, has shot Ginger Man into second place in the list of leading stake-winners, behind Chokin ($394,790), and ahead of Motoring Magic ($167,875) and Il Vicolo ($130,755). Nine of the 22 horses who have won more than $50,000 so far this season are stablemates of Ginger Man.
Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HRNZ Weekly
While Addington will always have a raceway, it is actively pursuing other business ventures. The plan they have underway at present, and looking quite promising at this stage, is the proposal to develop a sports and entertainment centre between the tea kiosk and the entrance turnstiles.
Addington Raceway Ltd is well down the track on this project, which Chief Executive Officer Mike Godber says is now in the hands of the City Council. He said the Raceway should know by the end of July whether the Council will go with the plan rather than one at Lancaster Park, which is also campaigning for such a centre.
The idea for a sports and entertainment centre at Addington Raceway began two years back when Trustbank saw a gap in the market for a large stadium to host major sports events. Trustbank told the Council it was willing to put money up for a decent facility. The Council then approached a Brisbane consultancy company, which, after considering 11 potential sites, recommended Addington Raceway. That was nearly a year ago.
For some months after that, little progress was made. Then, the Addington Raceway directors made a bold move, putting together a detailed plan and funding proposal for the Council to consider. "We gave them quite a surprise by doing that and I think they were impressed. Part of out strategy was to gain coverage of our proposal on the front page of the Christchurch newspapers, and we did this. And to back our submissions, we had all the support from tennis, netball and basketball organisations," said Mr Godber.
Mr Godber said the project was aimed at fitting into the Council's budget. He said the cost of the centre would be $17.7m of the $26m budget provided by the Council in its draft annual plan. The centre would hold 7800 for concerts, 5000 for arena events, and the floor space would be 5100 sq m. The advantages of the site are its colse proximity to the centre of the city, ample car parking, readily accessible to all modes of transport, and plenty of room to put the 11,050 sq m building.
For harness racing there will be benefits, but Mr Godber says the Raceway is basically in it for business. "We have 32 race days and 25 trial days, which leaves about 310 days. In today's economy, we cannot leave these facilities with nothing happening. One of the key forces in this is TAB profit, and how in the last three or four years it has levelled off. I can't see it going up significantly, so we have got to look at business opportunities to hold that loss for a start," he said.
What Mr Godber can visualise is that families who are at the entertainment centre for the night, take in the last two or three races before they go home. "It is going to raise the awareness of Addington Raceway," he said.
While the Raceway directors await developments in that area, work is well underway in the subdivision of land in the south-west corner. This is the part where cars could park on the busy days - Cup Day and Show Day. Not now.
From 4.22ha, the Raceway is selling 49 sections. "We only use the land once or twice a year. The clubs had to go into overdraft to build the new stand, and with the new lights costing $280,000, we didn't want to add to that. "It is going to improve the financial position of the clubs," said Mr Godber. He said the Raceway would still be providing more car parks than any other sporting venue in Christchurch.
Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HRWeekly 29Jul94
Work is well underway on the $1.4 million new lighting system for the track at Addington Raceway.
Mr Jack Hartley, chairman of the Raceway directors, says the system will be ready in time for the 1995 Inter-Dominion Championships. "The track will require 417 floodlights spread over 16 existing poles as well as using the roof of the members and stewards grandstand," he said.
The floodlights are being supplied by Versalux using General Electric 1500 watt metal halide floodlights. The work involves all the underground cabling being replaced and two new substations being installed. The average illuminance on the track will be five times greater than the current light level and at over 1200 lux, higher than any other track in New Zealand or Australia.
"There is a significant Canterbury involvement in the project which will boost the local economy by over $1 millon," said Hartley.
Credit: NZ HRWeekly 20Apr94