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Maurice Skinner and his brother Henry Skinner were the victors of the day when one of the best staying performances was seen in Southland. La Roue won the Smirnoff Vodka Handicap in January of 1976 when it ran the 3200 M in 4.12 with a mile rate of 2.7.
Henry Skinner who was driving Balgrove and finished second, unbeaten in his previous four starts, ensured that the race was only between these two horses. La Roue a six year old mare by Scottish Hanover, owned and trained in Invercargill by Jim Newton, had been a winner at Addington in her previous start.
Maurice Skinner gave La Roue a fine run and although Balgrove tracked her all the way and made a determined effort to get up and win, was not disgraced in being beaten by 1/2 length.
La Roue started from 40M and the pace was on all the way, and it was her stanima that gave her the win.
Maurice Skinner said after the race that "She is the best horse I have ever driven, who said the pace was very fast, and he would have liked to have got to the front earlier but couldn't. In the home straight he knew that his horse was doing better than Balgrove, who had a dream run, but La Roue had a bit more petrol in the tank."
"A dream run all the way is no excuses" said Robert Cameron of Ian, who ran third.
"I was one of the second division" said Colin Baynes, driver of the fifth horse Coral Donna.
Monarque a gelding by Tempest Hanover, from a fine mare in Pettie Sal who had won the Southland Challenge Stakes on the first day, completed a notable double when he won the Southland Furturity Stakes, the second leg.
Raced by his breeder Mrs G. C. Cruickshank, in partnership with her trainer, Alex Milne of Edendale, Mornaque was responsible for a first class staying run. From ten metres back he did well to get from sixth at the turn of the straight and get up to win. He beat Bronte who looked like the winner with only 100 M to go.
Monarque's 20 year old driver, Alex Milne said that he was as good as Parlez Vou and said "we got the perfect run and he made the most of every opportunity".
Bob Cameron could offer not excuses for Bronte,the gallant runner up. "Every chance was downed by a better horse and that is difference between a colt and a filly".
Milne has now driven 14 winners which have mostly been behind relatives Parlez Vous and Mornaque.
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