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Apprentice jockey Zubair
Bholah is recovering after a
nasty fall in the second race
at the Kumara Races on
Initially it was believed the
young rider was conscious
and had movement and
feeling in his limbs with facial
injuries as he was checked
for possible concussion and
A surgeon is believed to have
been flown from Christchurch
to the Grey Base Hospital
to stabilise him before he
was airlifted to Christchurch
The Mauritius-born rider
has been diagnosed with three
fractures in his neck, a broken
collarbone and shoulder,
along with a severe laceration
around his jaw and chin,
however there has been no
spinal cord damage.
The fall occurred in the
early stages of the 1810m race
when Morena Roc, the horse
Bholah was riding, clipped
heels and fell in view of the
large crowd gathered along
the home straight.
Bholah could not be moved
from the track for some
time due to the nature of the
injuries he sustained and the
race was abandoned.
As a result the remainder of
the Kumara meeting was put
back by one race.
The Riccarton stable of Michael
and Mathew Pitman looks to
have a strong hand in the Rendel
Foster Memorial Miss Scenicland
Stakes 1645m, the feature race
at the Westland Racing Club
meeting in Hokitika tomorrow.
The Pitman colours have a good
record at Hokitika and success for
the stable is expected to continue
here with three runners — Elfee,
Morse Code and Montoya Star
Run under weight for age, Elfee
looks well placed to make her
presence felt and with leading
rider Chris Johnson to ride is
rated the horse to beat.
The seven-year-old mare
won well over 2000m at
Riccarton during the New
Zealand Cup Carnival but had
her excuses when failing after
striking a firm track at Cromwell
last time out.
The Hokitika track should play
perfectly for the Pitman runner
Morse Code showed grit when picking
up tearaway runners Prom Queen and
Darci Mac at Kumara, and will add
interest if she takes her place stepping up
Trainer Michael Pitman will talk to the
owners before making a decision but says
Morse Code is a doubtful starter
“I’ll talk to the owners but I will be
suggesting we save her for Riccarton,”
“In regards to my other two runners, I
expect both to race well. Elfee has been up
for a long time but we have freshened her
for this race.
“I have had the Miss Scenicland in mind
for her. Montoya Star is well and I’m very
happy with her. She was badly hampered
last time and has needed racing but she
is well enough now and I am more than
“ We look at going north after Hokitika,
with the Cuddle Stakes our immediate
focus,” Pitman said.
Northern apprentice Danielle
Hirini was in top form on
Saturday and the toast of
Kumara when she rode the
winners of both feature races at
the Kumara Racing Club’s Gold
Hirini guided the Kevin Myers-
trained O vertheriver to a close
but calculated win in the $30,000
Vernon and Vazey Truck Parts
Kumara Gold Nuggets, before
saluting the judge in the feature
sprint, the $20,000 Greymouth
Star Fasttrack $5K 1150m on the
Michael and Mathew Pitman-
trained Morse Code.
The young rider rode
Overtheriver to lead all the way
in the Greymouth Cup at Omoto
but different tactics were used to
get the Myers runner home in
the Kumara feature.
“At Greymouth I let him run
his own race and he went straight
to the front so I decided to let
the horse decide what was best
today,” Hirini said.
“He flopped out of the gates
so I thought we would go back
where he was happy.”
With Florence Ivy setting a
good pace up front Hirini bided
her time at the tail of the field
before improving sharply from
the 600m and the combination
came wide on the turn.
“ He was travelling good and
once straightened, finished well
but I wasn’t sure if he had got up.
It was a big effort under his top
weight,” Hirini said.
A long neck separated the first
four horses with Overtheriver
taking the decision by a nose
from The Gordonian, which
charged from its trailing position
close to the line, with Timy Tyler
close up in third place.
Top weight and former
northerner Morse Code stamped
it’s mark in the feature sprint,
again with Hirini in the saddle.
With hot favourite Prom
Queen and Darci Mac setting a
break-neck speed in front, Hirini
was content to sit in behind the
When let down, Morse Code
finished with a rush, picking up
the tiring Darci Mac and Prom
Queen to snatch victory with a
nose decision on the line.
“I knew the pace was going to
be on and ended up trailing the
two in front who were doing
themselves no favours,” Hirini
“It was a good effort by my
“It’s great to be back at Kumara
as it is where it all began for me
back in 2016. I basically kicked
off my career at Kumara and rode
three winners that day.”
An ever-confident Michael
Pitman was full of praise for his
“I thought she was a certainty
— she’s a good horse, a top class
mare,” Pitman said.
“S he was put on the schooling
list as she wouldn’t go into the
gates up north, when Tom Berry
was training her. I told him I
would take it and Mathew did
a lot of work getting her right.
From seven starts with us Morse
Code has won three races so far,
and Danielle (Hirini) rode to
Monday, January 14, 2019
PICTURES: Paul McBride
In a blanket finish the Kevin Myers-trained Overtheriver (outer) ,with successful rider Danielle Hirini, takes a nose decision from The Gordonian in the $30,000 Vernon and Vazey Truck Parts Kumara Gold Nuggets.
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Hokitika Sunset set for first star t
Westland Racing Club president Gray Eatwell keeps his horse Hokitika Sunset relaxed as farrier Dan Urquart shoes the mount ready for the Hokitika race meeting tomorrow. It
will be the first start for the locally owned and trained horse. Eatwell said his horse was born at the Hokitika Racecourse one evening and a friend suggested the name because of
the “beautiful sunset”. Initially he thought it was a “stupid” name, but it grew on him. Hokitika Sunset will race in the 1600m maiden race.
Full fields for Hokitika, p8.
Golden day at Kumara
Pitman holds key to
recovering from nasty fall
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