Carston secures South Island Trainers’ Premiership

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  • July 31, 2023
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Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston finished the season off on a high at his home track last Friday when scoring a winning treble and securing the South Island Trainers’ Premiership in the process.

It’s been a tough season for the southern barn, with the passing of stable apprentice Megan Taylor following a race fall in December last year.

“I’m just so proud of my team,” Carston said. “It’s been a tough year. We had a disaster in December with the loss of Megan, she was a big part of our team and losing her was incredibly hard.

“I’m lucky to have a super and loyal team around me, we stuck together and held it together and we’ve come out on the top of the South Island premiership, which is just unbelievable.”

Carston went into Friday’s meeting one win behind reigning champions Michael and Matthew Pitman, and he was able to get the better of his hometown rivals at the season-concluding meeting.

“I thought I had a nice team of horses, but I didn’t expect to win three races,” Carston said. “Obviously I thought the Pitmans had some nice chances too.

“I knew that I had a great season either way, I’d achieved my personal best and I went into the day with an ‘it is what it is’ attitude.

“I did think I had had a good team of horses, but racing on the Polytrack is really tempo dependant, if they go hard you can win from the back and if they go slow, you can’t, so you need some luck.”

Carston has taken full advantage of the Polytrack since it opened in August 2021 and has had a lot of success on the all-weather surface.

“I love the Polytrack,” he said. “For instance, two days this week we wouldn’t have been able to work the horses if we didn’t have it, it’s a godsend.”

Mumbo Jumbo got the stable off to a winning note on Friday when taking out the Bosch Home Appliances & Harvey Norman Commercial Maiden (1200m).

“She went in fresh without a trial, so I thought her win was pretty good and she’s a filly I do like and I think she’ll progress nicely,” Carston said.

Six-year-old mare Russian Fable added to Carston’s tally when winning the Prezzy Card Rating 65 (1400m).

“I recently took over the lease of her from the estate of Nigel Babbage, who unfortunately passed away earlier in the season, so that was a fitting result,” he said.

Carston sealed the South Island premiership in the last when scoring a quinella with Demand Respect and Bad Flamingo.

“It felt good to seal the deal by getting the quinella in the last race,” Carston said.

“I’ve had Demand Respect from day one. He’s an old war horse and he’s gone some good races and he deserved to win, he’d been knocking on the door for a while.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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