YEAR: 1977

Connections with Sole Command

New Zealand-bred stallions compiled an outstanding record on the first two days of the New Zealand Cup carnival at Addington last week, spearheaded by the dual New Zealand Cup winner, Lordship. Lordship sired four individual winners on the first two days including double-winner Lord Septimus, and New Zealand-bred stallions produced the winners of seven races on the first day and four on the second day. Among the winners sired by New Zealand stallions were $75,000 New Zealand Cup winner Sole Command and Dominion Trotting Hahdicap winner Nigel Craig.

Sole Command, one of only two New Zealand-bred runners in the event, outstayed four-year-old Greg Robinson by half a neck as the North Island challengers clearly outstayed their southern rivals. The artistry of top reinsman Peter Wolfenden behind the consistent Sole Command was largely responsible for the Scottish Command - Single Charm six-year-old's victory over Greg Robinson, who never stopped trying to overhaul the winner in the run home.

Raced by Mrs M I and Mr B J Walker and co-trainer Roy Purdon, Sole Command was fifth favourite in the 11 horse field dominated by Balgove. Balgove put the pressure on his rivals from the 800 metres and had a handy lead starting the home run, but he was done with soon after and Sole Command was the first to head him off. Sole Command went on to beat Greg Robinson by half a neck with Wee Win storming home late to cut Balgove out of third. Last year's winner Stanley Rio proved that the handicapped horses these days have very little chance of getting into a Cup finish as he battled into fifth but was well beaten. Palestine, tiring pacemaker In Or Out, and Captain Harcourt were next home.

Credit: New Zealand Trotting Calendar


YEAR: 1977


Balgove made amends for his disappointing Cup run when he completely outclassed a similar field in the NZ Free-For-All.

Driver Bob Cameron dropped Balgove back early from a wide barrier draw, but sent him for the lead down the straight with a round to go. Balgove raced clear on the turn into the back straight and from then on was never in danger of defeat. He was coasting five lengths clear at the finish in 2:28.9, a mile rate of 1:59.9 for the 2000 metres. Considering he faced a still easterly wind through the straight twice, it was an outstanding effort by Balgove.

Greg Robinson once again had to be content with second, finishing strongly to edge out Stanley Rio out of second by half a neck with half a head to Wee Win and half a neck to Sole Command

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar

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