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Posts Tagged ‘Hutt Park trots’

I want to tell you a very personal story about a gelding called Silk Singlet. His sire was Silk Legacy, a son of the great mare Silk Stockings, and  his dam was a New Zealand mare called Scenic Flight. He was bred in Wesport by A J Rogers and Mrs C E Rogers, and born in 1989.

Silk Singlet raced in New Zealand as a 4yo, 5yo and 6yo (from 1994-1996) for Peter Yeatman and was driven by Jim Curtin. He had some success – 6 wins – before being sold to North America. There he continued to be moderately successful until his 1998/99 seasons when, after moving to Canada, he had a great run of consistent performances in well-staked claiming races to notch up over $190,000 in each of those two consecutive years. He took his record of 1.52 in 1999 as a 10yo at Woodbine and last raced in 2003 as a 13yo. Crikey what a campaigner. In 2002 he had 26 starts for 8 wins and 7 places but obviously for much lower stakes, and even in his last year he had a 2nd from just 2 starts.

He ended up with total earnings of over $580,000 and 51 wins.

Silk Singlet

My connection with Silk Singlet is nothing to do with those statistics. It began with listening to harness racing commentaries on the radio and later on Trackside (although I can find no video record on Silk Singlet’s races). Whether it was a particular race I heard or and integral part of his racing style, I can’t recall, but what I associate Silk Singlet with was a flying run down the outside of the track. This is the association I transferred (along with moving Silk Singlet to Hutt Park, the Wellington track I frequented but he never raced on, and adding in a field of horses created by my own imagination) to a short story I wrote back in 1995. This was the era when I would often head out to the night trots with a friend or two and a flask of brandy or whiskey in the back pocket, and spend a frosty evening in the stand taking one dollar each ways and having a hot dog, or maybe a picnic in summer on the benches just around the first corner. Also an era when I wrote and shared short stories.

And that is how Silk Singlet ended up as the hero of this short story, and an emblem of love, loss and sexiness.

Silk Singlet by Bee Pears.

 

Pedigree notes:

Silk Singlet is by Silk Legacy (a son of the great mare Silk Stockings, and so a half brother to Temujin) and a Waratah mare called Scenic Flight. Her pedigree included the half siblings Light Brigade and The Old Maid. Scenic Flight had just two foals, both colts, and interestingly the other called Innocent Flight (by Clever Innocence) did most of his racing in Australia and ended up with 10 wins, 14 places and $48,377 from 41 starts. Of course Clever Innocence brought yet another dose of The Old Maid into the pedigree mix with Scenic Flight. 

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