GeorgeMonza CircuitoHedwood ThoroughbredsOpulence2020-21 Broodmare of the YearNew Zealand Small Breeder of the YearReliable TeamSalesMondoraniGeorge ChittickBerkley StudRacingJonny OrrHallmark StudThere You GoVicki PascoeHouse of CartierBill GleesonBreedingTicklishElephantAndrew FowlerBen KwokDavid PaykelDunstan Breeder of the MonthOlly TuthillAnnabel WigleyBeaufort DownsMary Lynne Ryan Young Achiever AwardArdsley StudNZEHAMicheal StedmanTaxIRDKing of ComedyCircus Maximus2021 New Season Sire PreviewStallion Coverings 2020Mustang ValleyAncient SpiritHe Waka Eke NoaClimate changeSky DarciPiroplasmosisUberlebenTommy Heptinstall2021 NZB Weanling SaleNigel AuretAuret FamilyLetham StudBig MikeExplosive JackBright AbyssAmazing StarGraham BaxBlandford LodgeHamdan Al MaktoumSir James FletcherOcean BillyBonny LassSandy MoorePins 'N' NeedlesAvantageMadame De SoirOff The Track ThoroughbredsBattle of the BreedsMonovale FarmRose of TraleeImperatrizSavy yong blonkShoworosesNeedle and ThreadCoventinaWayne DarlingPeter SmithCount ZeroMegan LieftingJust Got HomeWally O'HearnAvonalloAegonNathan TrumperArrivederciCrosshavenDaniel NakhleJohnny Get AngryTelperionWeigh InBred To WinJulian CorbanRick WilliamsKevin GrayNZ Racing AwardsMongolian khanSupreme HeightsSue and Peter WestendTravimyfriendMeleka BelleBroodmare of the year 2020Only WordsKylie FawcettTurrettVamos BebeBreeder of The Year30 Day Foal NotificationNZ HOTYMajor TomKevin PrattWellington BranchRoad ShowsRon LaddEmma EvansKaraka 2021ComplacentRaceFormNational Breeding AwardsFerrando2020 New SiresDean McKenzieStakesStallion paradeBreeding AwardsVisasImmigrationDylan JohnsonPaul MoroneyNZ Breeder of the YearWeanling educationFoal NZJen CampinWyndspelleDerrynRacing Industry BillHello YoumzainQuiz NightTen SovereignsHorse ambulanceTheileria equiExportsMPIPaul Yesberg2020 Service feesKaye SandersMansfield FarmSouth Island SaleSusan WalkerPark Hill StablesOceanexTony RiderSneaking To WinCatWalkGavelhouse PlusLiz AllenRed GiantSupergiantSavile RowRip Van WinkleAlmanzorReady To Run SaleAnother DollarPure ChampionFirst Crop Sire FocusWhat's The StoryHe's RemarkableHighview StudWeanling SaleCharles RobertsNZ Racing Hall of FameBessLion's RoarContributerNZB AirfreightRibchesterKinaneBaggy GreenTofaneCurraghmoreBagalolliesToffee TongueCovShout the BarFoxbridgeZebrowskiDunstan FeedsFarriersFiona BassettNZTRMark CorcoranZedVerry ElleegantDon GoodwinMay SaleCoronavirusCovid-19Perfectly ReadyPeter and Sue WestendJennifer EcclesKyla Robb BlogKyla RobbDavid MorrisBreeders' StakesEnvironmentNitrogenDanny RolstonKhalesTom LanePaisley ParkMaster PaintonDunstan Horse FeedsLaura McNabHannah AireyRacing hall of famePencarrowNZB Yearling SalesDivine ProphetGermanicusWroteHighviewTravelling LightPlatinum InvadorValachi DownsNot An OptionYearling SalesDavid GreeneJustamaizCharm SpiritRock 'n' PopBurgundyScorpzAblazeJericho CupClyde BuckinghamLa RomaneeMiami boundSteel StilettosTomsSuper SethWelfareThe Chosen OneDunstan Feeds Stayers ChampionshipTutta La ClasseDawn PatrolSweet TreatMonovalePiaggioTrue EnoughMick PrestonCatalystSurprise BabyWarren PeggFull of BeautyAndrew StewartTime TestKevin HickmanVern TrilloBohemian BluesVernanmeEmbellishBruce PerryLib PetagnaRiva CapriEvent StarsGina ShickDarci BrahmaCountofmontecristoPeter and Heather CrofskeyRITABreeder ProfilePhilip SmythDunstan Feeds Under The RadarFirst Season Sire ReviewStranglesDezWaikato BranchG1 DinnerSeawayTrevor LukeTaranaki Breeders' StakesStallion parade 2019Callsign MavAtlanteStaphanosAzamourSacred DayBarbara PerryPearl SeriesPolly GreyPencarrow StudSleeping BeautyCherry TaylorChris LuoniNew zealand racing hall of fameRacing Reform BillAce HighFlyingflynnHappy StarFabulousOcean ParkUS Navy FlagSam BergersonShoshoneSacred FallsOcean EmperorLifesaverKoldingSavigneRoaring LionClearview ParkPear Tree FarmRyan StaceySummer PassageSatono AladdinVadamosIgrainePurple SectorThe BostonianBrent and Cherry TaylorWar DecreeHoward Be Thy NameHigh ChaparralThe Sunlight TrustPrincess JenniReliable ManWeanling WalkFoalsEquibreed Seminar 28th AugustCareers DayEducationRacing MinisterJohn Messara Report Release Date 30 August 2018Spyglass Hill SyndicateLincoln FarmsWestbury StudCancer SocietyAternatinKoru ThoroughbredsKeith and Faith Taylor Equine ScholarshipRoad to RockGreg TomlinsonBeauty GenerationNearco StudLuigi MuolloExplosive BreedingJakkalberryNovara ParkJimmy ChouxBostonianFasttrackDavid ArcherNZTBA OfficePlusvitalEquifibreFasttrack Breeders ProfileNZ First season sires 2018Stallion Register 2018Equine Property OwnersHealthy RiversWaikato Regional Council ReportRodmor Trust Lecture SeriesDr Frances PeatCathay PacificNZTBA Waikato BranchLondon ExpressMilan ParkWinston PetersJohn FokerdGoffsSean HawkinsOur AbbadeanWentwood GrangeWaikato StudWarwick JeffriesBradbury ParkSeabrookRavelston StudOne One TwoLloyd MonehanTavistockSpecial MemoriesCarol MarshallSweynesseNZTBA Te Aroha Breeders DayMiss WilsonWho Shot ThebarmanTe Aroha Breeders DayNZ Bred G1 WinnersNZ Racing StructureNZRBFoster FoalChristopher GraceFastrack Breeder ProfileNZTBA Breeders Bulletin Autumn 2018Cambridge StudBansha House StablesRodger VarianMichael MoranHiyaamGavelhouseSunlinePhilamorSusan ArcherRobin ArcherWTBAJoan EganSeagramJezabeelLloch-Haven ThoroughbredsJeanette BroomeFlemmington FarmYearnEtah JamesMark LuptonDeloitte ReportThe InformantBryerley ParkSpanish WhisperNahkleOn The RocksAlamosaMare ReturnsXpressmymindShane KennedyRichard CollettRobt DaweArthur AvisWillie and Karen CalderBoticaScott BaseTony PikeLittle Avondale StudDavid EllisAdvantageNZB InsuranceBelle familyMarie LeicesterRaven DarkholmeGus WigleyNZB Pearl SeriesFormidableJohn ThompsonShockingAlan WindleGuy LowryIain RentonXpressionHighden ParkLibby BleakleyDavid Morris BlogDanielle Southey BlogHeniPaul GollanAlphastarThe KingWait A SecSuper EasyInfantryDolcettoDijon BleuUnusual SuspectNZTBA RestructureFree Handicaps 2016-17Sophie's ChoiceTivaci Shuttle2017 Waikato Stallion ParadeSouth Island Foster FoalRide To TimeEminentAuckland Stallion Parade 2017YogiAl Basti EquiworldKaraka MillionPrefermentPrince Of BrooklynChris GraceHard MerchandizeTattyboglerLet Her RipFanaticDavid WalshMapperley StudPucciniWinxVolatile MixBernard SaundryAllureZacintoInglewood StudShamexpressProm QueenVanbrughRageeseSweet LeaderRaise The FlagWhite Robe LodgeWindsor Park StudTurn Me LooseLong Acres StudVerdiNZB South Island SaleFive to MidnightBonniegirlMiss VistaThe Oaks StudJohn WoodMangaroa Flo JoLance Forbes BlogCharmontBelardoJon SnowIffraajTe ArohaMontoyas SecretJanine DunlopRock OnZabeelCameron Ring BlogJomara BloodstockHumidorTivaciNZTROF March 2017WertherWilliam FellGingernutsBonnevalStart WonderingAllan SharrockWhite Robe Lodge HandicapCouleeMelody BelleXtravagantGore GuineasFrank ConwayRaise You TenFerlaxMichael O'KeefeHall of FameGalloping GerteCelia CrawshawLincoln BlueLorna MooreAerovelocityAlan GrovesRemindRomancerNight's WatchRedwoodCylinder BeachGary WallaceColdplayChocanteBuckinghamEmblemLasarlaCameron RingLance ForbesBreeders' Bulletin Summer 2016/17La DiosaZigwigI Am A StarGift Of PowerTarzinoNurse KitchenFlying MontyTrelawney StudLightning StakesSpiethBeyond the BarriersSunset PassMcQuadeUnderthemoonlightMichelle SabaHe's Our RokkiiPeter WalkerOctapussyInside AgentPinsLegless VeuveNZERFPour MoiGraham de GruchyVicki PikeWayne PikeEpisode OneSeason 5Kiwi BredTrain The Trainer WorkshipKylin 500 ClubHoney RiderAuckland Breeder AwardsBrian CollinsGypsy FairRichard WrightACC ForumDavid MillerPer IncantoSaracinoIts Time For MagicAuckland Stallion ParadeMeeska MooskaKawiMakfi StakesDormello StudWaikato Stallion WeekendKick BackMichael SheridanMiss Three StarsChiantiOctasongUpper CutProisir FoalsProisirBreeders Bulletin Winter 2016Stallion Parades 20162015/16 HandicapsKeanoSavabeelBroodmare Of The Year 2016Breeder Of The Year 2016Elusive BoxersWell DoneFalkirkGrangewilliam StudThe Bold OneShowcasingDe GruchySacred ElixirSir Patrick HoganRich HillPentireTattersallsSaratogaCheveley ParkJamie's BlogTe AkauStephen AutridgeJamie RichardsHolly RossHolly's BlogBreeders BulletinBreeders' BulletinBulletinCoolmore IrelandMatt ScownMatthew ScownMatt's BlogWellfield LodgeVespaGilltown StudShadwellBruce's BlogBruce SladeMonty RobertsFasig-TiptonKeenelandDennis BrothersRobert's BlogRobert DennisDylan's BlogDylan TreweekGerry HarveyWinstarTaylor MadeCoolmore AmericaCoolmoreBenji KingBenji's BlogMembershipMembersBRANCH CAPITATIONACC LEVIESOWNERS FEDERATIONPRIMARY ITOHEALTH & SAFETY ACTRace Fields LegislationPattern CommitteeBLOODSTOCK TAXATIONMarch 2016CEO BlogChief Executive's BlogNewmarketHannah's BlogIrish National StudIrelandScholarshipHannah MeeFrankelCheveley Park StudBevan SmithSunline ScholarshipEnglandBevan's BlogShannon TaylorGordon CunninghamDan MyersPhill CataldoBruce HarveyMark TreweekAndrew SeabrookNew Zealand BloodstockImposinglyMakfiImposing LassPeter NewsomJohn BergerLisa LattaRangitikei Gold CupZennistaKay HoodAide MemoireMark ChittyHaunui FarmPerfect FitDalgharAnne-Marie KingBrighthill FarmNick King
TAGS

A Middle-Aged Mare's View of the Ellerslie Hill

I usually start my run at the top of the straight, with a deep breath and a fervent hope that no-one is watching.

Once, a gang of builders working on the public stand startled me by cheering when I got to the winning post. I had to apologise for not being Sunline. Or even a maiden winner at Dargaville.

I've watched the track staff rolling, mowing, spraying and fertilising the track over the past seven or eight months and it now has a good, thick sole of grass that makes even the flat sections quite testing, especially when you're a middle-aged mare making a modest comeback. The track will be really challenging for the Mercedes Great Northern Steeplechase if it's wet, which is very likely.

The rise out of the straight past the winning post always surprises me, it's much stiffer than it looks from the stand and the bend sweeps wide at the same time. Quite tricky for horses starting from the 2000-metre barrier and for the Derby horses on Boxing Day, jostling for position so soon after the start of the race.

On across the driveway to the golf course and, sometimes, past people walking their dogs, occasionally of the vicious variety. I've looked around for a good escape route should one of them decide to investigate me but haven't come up with anything better than perching on top of the nearest section of running rail.

Along the back, past the sponsors' billboards, is probably my favourite part of the course, although because the jumps here are in the shade, the landings can be slippery for the steeplechasers. I imagine the sprinters powering out of the 1200-metre barrier on New Year's Day and lift my pace to that of a slightly less feeble snail.

Then there's a moment or two when I work out whether I'm up to the Hill or not. Quite often I'm not, but do it anyway. Usually, my legs begin to express sincere regret for that decision about 20 metres later.

It's not a long hill, but it inclines sharply, especially near the rail, and then rises again just before the top. Getting there always feels like winning something. Thank heavens I don't have to jump the two fences along the top, especially the first one.

I have absolutely no idea how a half-tonne horse carries more than 60 kg of rider up that hill at 45 or 50 km per hour and then jumps a fence. Much less doing it three times, as the runners in the Mercedes Great Northern must do.

Apparently, the ability to gallop fast downhill is essential for a Steeples contender at Ellerslie. By the time I reach the beginning of the long home turn I'd be happy to roll down the hill. As it is, I have to concentrate to make sure I don't wreck my ankles.
Then it's through to the course proper again and the end of my run.

Unless I'm feeling like two-time Great Northern Steeples winner Royal Ways and have only just warmed up.....


The Auckland Racing Club presents the Mercedes Great Northern Carnival at Ellerslie, Queen's Birthday Weekend:
Saturday 1 June
$50,000 TV Guide Hurdles, 4190 metres
- featuring Real Tonic, Sir Avion & Smart Hunter

Monday 3 June
$100,000 Mercedes Great Northern Steeplechase, 6400 metres
- featuring Royal Ways, Smart Hunter, Sir Avion & Cool Conductor
$50,000 Crombie Lockwood Cornwall H. 1600m G3


- Susan Archer




 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT