YEAR: 2007


Dave & Katie Carville celebrate with Blair Orange
Prominent Canterbury breeder-owners Dave and Katie Carville gained their first Group One success on Friday night at Addington Raceway when their charge Ohoka Arizona was successful in the New Zealand Welcome Stakes. Elected the best Purdon chance by punters, Ohoka Arizona started second-favourite behind Mattnamara's Band and returned a juicy winning dividend of $4.50 for his efforts.

The Harness Jewels leader (Ohoka Arizona) had to overcome barrier 14 over the 1950m journey, launching his claim with 900m to go by challenging stablemate and pacemaker Fiery Falcon. The two Mark Purdon representatives fought like cat and dog in the home straight as Fiery Falcon came from the trail to attack Ohoka Arizona in a final attempt for success.

At the finish a just half-length separated the two as Blair Orange and Ohoka Arizona buried their main rival with ease in the end. Race favourite Mattnamara's Band fought stoutly for third 1 lengths away after racing hard in the middle stages.

Ohoka Arizona recorded a winning time of 2.23.4 in freezing conditions, posting a mile rate of 1.58.3 and his final 800m in 58.3. Not only was the Group One success special to the Carville's, but it was just driver Blair Orange's second Group One win of his career. The first coming behind Jay's Debut in the Juvenile Championship.

It was a big night for owners Dave and Katie Carville - alias Mr and Mrs No1 enthusiasts - whose first Group 1 win it was. There contribution to harness racing as breeders, owners and sponsors is more than what can be adequately said here. The Carvilles bred Ohoka Arizona from sending Millwood Krystal to Christian Cullen. Millwood Krystal, by Falcon Seelster, won two races, and is from the direct line of top mares Lancia and Valencia. "I have to thank Wayne Francis for getting into this breed, and have to thank my barber Harry Webber for insisting I use Christian Cullen, and I apologise for coming here in jeans; from the draw I just didn't think we would be up here," Carville said.

Credit: Harness Racing NZ

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