Wooden Edge emerges from hum­ble start

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - TIM RYAN

There’s no ex­plain­ing the va­garies of the horse busi­ness.

The wealthy spend for­tunes seek­ing their next win­ner, oth­ers have fu­ture stars foisted upon them.

Take Wooden Edge ex­am­ple of the lat­ter.

For­mer cham­pion jockey Gary Edge runs a beau­ti­ful ag­ist­ment farm on the out­skirts of Cam­bridge.

He takes pride in nur­tur­ing thor­ough­breds for his clients and the ma­jor­ity hap­pily pay their bills for a job well done.

Now and again some don’t have the read­ies to set­tle their ac­counts and al­ter­na­tives have to be ex­plored.

When the owner of an un­fash­ion­ably-bred young­ster failed set­tle an ac­count Edge had to seek ret­ri­bu­tion through a lien over the horse.

With the mat­ter sorted and as new owner of the horse Edge called on his mate, Cam­bridge trainer Chris Wood.

‘‘The last thing I needed was a share in an­other horse,’’ Wood said. ‘‘But Gary said he re­ally liked the horse and he was a good pad­dock gal­loper.’’

Wood went about get­ting a syn­di­ca­tion of own­ers to race the horse and story of the aptly named Wooden Edge be­gan to gain mo­men­tum.

The bills were be­ing paid and the geld­ing by an un­known sire from a non­de­script mother showed he could gal­lop.

He was a tough cus­tomer, an ‘‘ex­plo­sive unit’’ and took con- as an vinc­ing that he wanted to be a race­horse.

‘‘I’ve got to take my hat off to my staff,’’ Wood said. ‘‘They put a lot of hard work into this horse.’’

Taken to his first trial the 4-year-old son of Have No Fear won and scored again at his sec­ond of two tri­als.

On Sun­day he made his race de­but at Te Awa­mutu and af­ter a slow be­gin­ning, looped the field and ran away to win as he liked in the hands of Wood’s ap­pren­tice jockey Vik­to­ria Gatu..

It was a mem­o­rable week­end for Wood and Gatu

They com­bined to win with Pa­corus on Satur­day and Gatu also won aboard Ad­mi­ral, on Sun­day she also won on Sum­mer Dale.

Wood ex­pects more wins from both his week­end win­ners and has high hopes for Wooden Edge.

‘‘He can go all the way,’’ Wood said. ‘‘I’ve had a big wrap on him for quite a while.

‘‘He’s been in work for a long time, I’ll give him an­other one or two and then give him a break for a few weeks.’’

For a horse sired in a pad­dock in the shad­ows of a Cam­bridge in­dus­trial area, by a stal­lion that left just a hand­ful of un­raced progeny, from an un­fash­ion­ably­bred un­raced mare, he could pro­vide his own­ers with many more cel­e­bra­tions.

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