YEAR: 1973


1973 NZ OAKS

"There's no backpedalling now, I'll have to take it up full time," said Rakaia agricultural contractor Noel Edge after his good filly Loyal Drift won the $9000 New Zealand Oaks.

For Edge, who only renewed his licence two years ago after a layoff of ten years, the Oaks was the biggest success of his career. Barrine was the first horse he prepared after his break away from trotting and he was a winner last season while this season Loyal Drift and Kentucky Hanover have shown very good form in each winning three races.

Loyal Drift, by the New Zealand bred stallion Bye Bye Bill, himself a fine pacer, is out of Gancia and was bred by her owner. Mr Edge had since had two foals from Gancia, a two-year-old colt by Nephew Hal and a yearling filly by Play Bill. Last year Gancia missed to Jersey Hanover but has gone back to him this season.

Noel Edge is a brother to Steve Edge and until he gave up trotting for ten years to concentrate on his business Noel edge assisted his brother in his training activities.

There could be few excuses for the beaten lot behind Loyal Drift as she was sent to the lead with a mile to run and held off all the challenges in the straight. Not even a brilliant drive from Maurice Holmes could do better than earn Armbro Jodie second money behind a very well rated winner whose victory was thoroughly deserved. Holmes got Armbro Jodie away brilliantly from the second line and she was lying in third place at the end of a furlong. When Loyal Drift succeeded Hill Crest in front at the mile, Armbro Jodie was switched off the rails to trail on the outer then sent forward three wide past the weakening Connie Francis at the two furlongs. Armbro Jodie looked to be a big threat when she turned for home in second place but she only battled over the final half-furlong and just lasted to hold second, a length from Loyal Drift and half a head in front of Scottish Joy.

Scottish Joy raced in the fourth line on the outer but moved up closer to the lead from the two furlongs and though under pressure, got up to take third off the North Islander and favourite Hill Crest. Lady Hodgen, the early pacemaker, battled on for fifth from three back on the fence then there was a gap of seven lengths to Beedeecee with a nose to Marie Gibbins. Her effort was a good one as she was one of the worst breakers in a straggling start and had only two behind her with six furlongs to run.

Credit: 'Lookout' writing in NZ Trotting

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