Redmaro with Tony Cameron and Cheree Wigg after their Hawera victory. Photo: Royden Williams.
RETURNING to the grass proved the telling factor for evergreen pacer Redmaro, who was victorious at Hawera on Saturday afternoon.
The Kumeu visitor came from near last on turning in to run away with the last on the card, in the process giving junior driver Tony Cameron his third winner of the day.
It was also Redmaro’s third win in the north with trainer Cheree Wigg after she took him over at the start of the year.
All three have come on the grass, the first two in amateur races at Thames and Tauranga in mid-January.
“He goes alright on the grit but the grass seems to be the key to him,” said Wigg.
Ownership of Redmaro lies with Canterbury’s Marie Cook, wife of the horse’s former trainer, Gavin Cook.
Wigg grew close to the Cooks on a trip to New York in October to compete in an invitational amateur drivers’ event against American drivers.
“I got to know them really well on the trip and when we returned home they offered him to me as they knew I was after a horse.
“He’d been going well in big fields down there and he seems to have appreciated the smaller ones up here.”
With Monday’s Hawera meeting to be the last grass track meeting in the north until December, that poses a curly question with Redmaro, who is sound, willing and not horribly rated on 55.
“What do you do with him?” wondered Wigg.
Wigg has been happy to train two or three at once in recent seasons, but has just the one horse at present.
“Minstrel Boy had bone chips in his fetlock, which was a problem I finally got to the bottom of.
“But rather than persevere I retired him and that’s left me with just Redmaro.”
That will soon change, though.
“I will be looking for more horses once I’m back from the World Amateur Championships in Belgium in July.
“It’s just me doing them so I don’t want to get them going and then leave, but I will be focused on getting a bigger team when I get back.”
Wigg will represent New Zealand against drivers from seven other countries in what promises to be the trip of a lifetime.
“It’s only one driver per country so it’s a big honour to represent New Zealand against the world.”
TONY Cameron has been the strike-rate driver in the North Island in 2018 and continued that on with another hat-trick at Hawera.
He combined once again with trainers Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett to drive two winners in the form of Madhubala and Blood An Whisky before rounding out the day with a victory behind Redmaro.
It was his second grass treble of the season after doing so at Tauranga on January 20, the same two Wallis/Hackett horses winning that day too.
With 13 wins on the calendar year, the junior driver is third behind only David Butcher (24) and his boss, Tony Herlihy (16) on that list amongst north island drivers.
It was an impressive showing from junior drivers on the day with Cameron, Alicia Harrison, Trent Lethaby and Benjamin Butcher combining to win six of the day’s 10 races.