C A Penny and Jim Curtin see off Black Chevron in the Wairarapa Cup. Photo: Royden Williams.
C A Penny wasn’t even supposed to be racing by now, so to win her second cup in a month at Palmerston North on Tuesday has come as a real bonus for her connections.
The Blenheim mare was too strong for a small but select field in the $10,000 Wairarapa Cup, leading throughout in the hands of Jim Curtin.
Trainer Allan Shutkowski expected his now seven-year-old mare by Pay Me Christian to be in the breeding paddock by this stage, but nature didn’t play its part.
“We tried to get her in foal to Art Major before Christmas and during early January.
“But probably because she was in work and the sire himself was having fertility issues, it never happened.
“So, we thought, oh well, we’ll go on until the end of the season.”
She won’t race next term and there are probably no more than four races left in her career.
“She’s in again at Manawatu on Thursday and then we might go down and do a couple of races at Addington – it’s a track that suits her better as she tends to tip her head a bit up here.
“We’ll play it by ear and see how she goes tomorrow night, but we will definitely give her plenty of time to let down through winter.”
She’s been a super mare for Shutkowski and wife Petrina, the Chairperson of the Marlborough Harness Racing Club, and when she retires she’ll have at least eight wins, $80,000, a 1.54.8 time and a Listed win at Addington on her record.
Shutkowski hopes she can add to that in a six-horse $10,000 race over 2500 metres on Thursday night.
“She’s in a good space right now and I think the 2500-metre start is a bit better because she can cross them before the first bend from there.
“The 2000-metre start is a lot closer to the turn and you have to really be humming to get the front.
“She goes so well in front and is a good stayer; she’s a got a really big heart.”
He often wonders if her record could have been even better, has she not had ongoing health issues.
“She has had a lot of tie-up problems and we’ve been managing that for the last two years.
“But right at the moment she’s in a good spot.”