Waimate Cup winner Onedin Reign a real Diamond in the rough

Trainer Robert Dunn will be aiming to keep Sir Lincoln mare Onedin Reign in the top 12 for the Harness Jewels after her powerful Waimate Cup win on Sunday.

The four-year-old rocketed to 10th on the list for the Four-Year-Old Diamond at Addington on June 1 when she notched her third win of the season.

And while two of those wins have been on grass, Dunn says she’s equally as good on all-weather tracks.

“We thought we’d keep her on the grass while she’s doing so well. She’s gone past our other two Feel The Money (12th) and Kotare Cullen (13th) in the Jewels rankings and there are a couple of country cups to come.’’

A big, strong filly, who was big as a yearling and two-year-old, Onedin Reign had a few niggly problems which held her up earlier her career.

“Her breathing was pretty raspy initially and we used a Cornell Collar on her for a while. Young horses can get funny in their breathing as they’re maturing but she doesn’t need it now.

“She does tie up every so often though and we’ve got a routine to keep that under control.’’

Trainer Robert Dunn, with son John who drove Onedin Reign.Trainer Robert Dunn, with son John who drove Onedin Reign.The mare doesn’t have any days off, or jog days, a half mile daily workout instead keeping her free in her action - “on and off the track in eight minutes is the key.’’

“She’s getting over it, she was a lot worse as a three-year-old.’’

Dunn says Onedin Reign has always shown a lot on the track - “as a yearling and two-year-old we always thought we had something pretty good.

“And when you work her now she’s a strong horse to sit behind. We always thought she’d go a fair bit further as she’s a great follower of pace.’’

Dunn was impressed how Onedin Reign toughed it out at Waimate on Sunday after making a long run round the field to lead 700 metres out.

Hotly challenged all the way down the stretch by stablemate Spot On, who came up the inside, she hung on by a head, thanks to a vigorous drive by driver John Dunn.

Onedin Reign is raced by her breeders, brothers Terry and Garry Lane, Terry a full time worker for Dunn for the last 10 to 15 years and Garry aka ‘Billy’ one of the top drivers for Majestic Horsefloats for the last 20 years.

She is the second foal of the Bettor’s Delight mare Onedin Classic who looked “incredibly promising” winning two of her first three starts. But she raced only nine times, having to be retired when badly injured in a race crash at Addington in July, 2012.

Her first foal Onedin Express, by Changeover, did not win in 21 starts.

The Lanes were always fans of Sir Lincoln as a racehorse so choosing the Alabar-based sire to toughen up the mare’s progeny was a no-brainer.

Race Images - Gallops

Sir Lincoln Top 10

Did you know…

1. CUP DAY BIRTH: It was preordained Sir Lincoln would be a headliner when he was born just hours before the 2006 New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington. Three years later to the day, and almost the hour, he annihilated his rivals on the same course in the Sires’ Stakes Final.

2. AGE NO BARRIER: In his second last race start, at the age of six, Sir Lincoln paced the fastest 1700 metres in New Zealand history, 2:00.5, beating Gold Ace and clocking a mile rate of 1:54 at Alexandra Park. Champion pacer Elsu held the previous record at 2:01.1.

3. ON THREE LEGS: Sir Lincoln ran his last race virtually on three legs, when second to Terror To Love in an Interdominion heat at Auckland. He had to be pulled out of the Melbourne series, and retired, when found to have a subluxated pastern joint - basically his ankle joint was dislocated.

4. SWIFT GOLDEN MILE: Sir Lincoln’s fastest mile was recorded in the 2012 Group III Golden Mile at Menangle in Sydney when he was nosed out by Captain Joy in 1:51.4. He was known by the name Lincoln Royal in Australia.

5. AT THE REINS: One for the trivia fans - how many drivers did Sir Lincoln have in his 57-start career? Maurice McKendry was Linc’s pilot throughout his career but he was MIA four times when the horse was handled by James Stormont, Ken Barron and Blake Fitzpatrick (twice).

6. WINNERS KEEP COMING: In only his third season with runners on the track, Sir Lincoln has already sired the winners of 30 races despite having limited numbers to represent him. Last season in New Zealand alone he had 16 winners from only 39 starters and this term he already has six winners from just 18 starters.

7. SOMEBEACH SOME RAP: Breeding buffs made a beeline for Sir Lincoln after superstar racehorse and stallion Somebeachsomewhere had to be put down with cancer. Sir Lincoln is 7/8th bred on the same cross as Somebeachsomewhere - by Mach Three out of a Beach Towel mare who is in turn out of a Cam Fella mare.

8. DISCOUNT FOR LOYALTY: Broodmare owners are returning to Sir Lincoln in droves. Taken by the attractive foals he is leaving, many book straight back to the Alabar-based sire and take advantage of Lincoln Farms’ loyalty scheme which cuts his service fee in half to just $1250 plus GST.

9. TIME BEST FRIEND: Sir Lincoln’s progeny are mirroring the sire’s own start on the racetrack, benefitting from a little time to mature. The best the horse himself could manage as a two-year-old was one third from four starts but he was a different animal at three, winning four of his first five starts.

10. MEGASTAR’S FREAK DEATH: A freak accident claimed the life of valuable broodmare Lincoln’s Megastar, a full sister to Sir Lincoln. The mare, who opened her career with a nine and a half length walloping at Auckland, was retired after six wins, but left only one foal. She was killed when crushed by a fallen tree in a violent storm. Woodlands Stud has another full sister in two-year-old Moonlighting who is in training with Ray Green.