By Duane Ranger
“They seem to care for their horses more and pay a lot more attention to detail. I learnt a heap. It was unreal.”
Those were the words of Alberton trainer, Ryan Veivers, who late last month returned from the United States after learning intricacies of harness racing in that country.
He travelled with his fiancee, Dannielle McMullen; her cousin Nathan Dawson, and his partner, Bronte Nieuwenburg. They trip came via the continued generosity of the ‘Kevin & Kay Seymour Young Achievers Award’. The quartet left on July 29 and returned on August 29.
“It was an amazing experience and we can’t thank Kevin and Kay enough for this. I’ve been over there a few times holidaying, but this was the first time it was work-related.
“It was an awesome experience and I personally think I will come back a better trainer for it. They do plenty of things that we don’t over here. They look after their horses better. The care they give them is amazing,” Veivers said.
The 26-year-old horseman, who has been training for seven seasons, and is nearing the 200-win mark said Hambletonian Day at The Meadowlands was a highlight.
“Watching Shartin N win in world record time (1:46.4) then the Canadian pacer, Forbidden Trade, upset the favourite in the 94th Hambletonian were the highlights. That was an amazing day at the races and one we won’t ever forget. It was crazy,” Veivers said.
Veivers trained about 35 winners last season, and is looking to kick the season off with at least one win from his five starters at Albion Park on Saturday night.
“Last season wasn’t the best I’ve recorded, but winning the Oakwood Capital Marathon at Marburg with Gangster Boy in October was a highlight. Campaigning him at Menangle the following month later was also a thrill,” he said.
Veivers is currently working a team of 19, and said Secret Agent Tycoon and claimer, Chantrey, were the pick of them.
Veivers’ five runners for tomorrow’s meeting at ‘The Creek’ (with draw, driver, odds and his comments) are:
Race 1: IMA TOP TYCOON (1) Narissa McMullen $2.80 – "He went a big race last time, and isn’t as good over the 2,138m as what he is over the 1,660. He pulled hard last week and this week I’m expecting a much better run from him. He should roll along in front and be hard to catch. I’d rate him an each-way bet, and the best of my winning chances with Wattlebank Flyer on Saturday.”
Race 1: FIOKI (4) Justin Elkins $17 - "Jeremes Jet gelding who should go well in this. He beat Ima Top Tycoon a couple of starts back but this time I’m thinking he might get too far back and not be able to reel in his stablemate. He’s racing well though and with a slice of luck he can place.”
Race 2: GETOUTNWALK (1) Hayden Barnes $21 – "She’s a sit-and-sprint type horse who has drawn perfectly for that style of racing. If she can follow good speed she is very capable of kicking late along the passing lane. We need a good horse for her to follow, and if she gets that then she can get some of it.”
Race 2: WATTLEBANK FLYER (2) Justin Elkins $17 – "He’s been a real good little horse for me and has gone some good times. On Tuesday for example he came home in 26 flat on this track against some good horses. If he can also get a nice trip he can surprise them. I’d rate him as good a winning chance as Ima Top Tycoon in the first race. He is very capable of surprising at odds. A win would not surprise me here.”
Race 6: CHANTREY (4) Hayden Barnes $11 – "If it wasn’t for last week’s poor run, I’d have a lot more confidence in him in this race. He’s a different horse in front, but last week he was left parked and choked down. It might have all gone wrong that time, but he’s been a good horse since we claimed him. He needs the front to get his confidence back. He’s not out of it though from four.”