Martins Family horses rounding into form as harness season gathers momentum
Candyce Martins has hailed her team’s impressive showing during another exciting round of harness racing at the National Equestrian Centre at the weekend.
Martins Family’s geldings Gold-N-Glory, Inwood’s Realist and SomeGoldSomeWhere and mare Inwood’s Progress all posted their fastest times of the season to get a leg out of their respective time bars.
“We had a really good weekend as a team,” Martins told The Royal Gazette. “All of our horses, we’re impressed with, and our season is obviously just getting on a roll because of having to stop.”
Gold-N-Glory (1:04) got a leg out of the 1:04.3 - 1:06 time bar with driver and trainer Martins, Inwood’s Realist (1:05.3), while Inwood’s Progress in the 1:06.1 – 1:08 division with drivers Tahzil Flood and Kamali Tucker and SomeGoldSomeWhere (1:07.4) in the 1:08.1 - 1:11.3 time bar with driver Teshi Zuill in the bike also made progress.
Zuill and SomeGoldSomeWhere nearly advanced altogether having come up just two fifths of a second shy of getting both legs out after posting a 1:08.2 in the second heat.
“We are impressed with all of their performances,” Martins added. “They all ran nicely and we only expect the horses to get stronger and better as we go along.”
Times have heated up since racing resumed at Vesey Street from a brief hiatus due to Covid-19 related reasons, with some horses having either advanced or got a leg out of their division.
One record has also fallen as Lee and Sergio Raynor’s harness pony, Special Gold, set a new stallion’s record of 1:01.2 with driver Kirista Rabain.
The time shaved two fifths of a second off the previous stallion’s track record of 1:01.4, set by Big Red Machine in 2011.
It also eclipsed the six-year-old horse’s previous lifetime best and season’s fastest time, which both stood at 1:02.1, and was just a fifth of a second shy of the overall track record of 1:01.1 held by Tyler Lopes’s mare, Google Me.
“Times are heating up for sure,” Colin Mello, the Bermuda Driving Horse and Pony Club president said. “It’s nice to see everyone continuing to put in the training for the few weeks we didn’t race and being back to consistent racing is showing the benefits.
“We are excited to see so many good performances in the ponies and drivers. It’s shaping up to be an exciting lead up to end of season.”
Meanwhile, Demian Tucker, Macray Bulford and Rabain were among the drivers achieving multiple heat victories during last Sunday’s racecard.
The 2021-22 season resumed on January 30 after being suspended since New Year’s Day, because of a low turnout of ponies due to quarantined participants, stemming from the latest wave of Covid-19 cases on island.
The pandemic also delayed the start of the season, which began on November 21 and runs until April 3, and ended the 2020-21 campaign early after a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases led to a government shutdown of sporting activities.