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Rex Cochrane and Steve .J. Allen dominated the racing season in 1978. Twenty meetings were held and in total 194 races were run in Southland that year. Cocharne trained 23 winners at a rate of 11.8 percent. Close rivals were Bill Hillis (11) and E. A. Winsloe (10).
M. R. Skerret gained 9 winners then you had G. W. Robertson, W.L. Robinson (Matangi), R. F. Pankhurst and S. G. Shaw all with six wins on the Southland circuit.
On the riders side Steve Allen was second to A. K. Robinson on the South Island circuit last season and has gained 27 wins on the Southland circuit and had a clear lead over other riders.
Allen was also successful in the heavyweight steeples and hurdles and has a lead of 12 over Christchurch jockey K. W. Morton who travelled to compete in many races in Southland.
Matangi apprentice, Paul W. Hillis got a lot of success from attending the Riverton Easter carnival and he ended up on 13 wins.
Wingatui apprentices, N.J. Harnett and S.J. Prince confirmed themselves as young riders with a future and had wins of 11 and 10 respectively. If they carry on and do not have weight issues they have a bright future.
Reference: The Southland Times May 1978
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