Fifth And Final……Now not so sure !

Its always nice to score a win on a premier night of harness racing and for Pukekohe breeders Bob (RJ) and Marlene Lynch, their 4yo gelding Fifth And Final (He’s Watching – Kissimmee) duly obliged at ‘The Park’ recently (26/4/24), courtesy of a peach of a drive from Zac Butcher.

Bob Lynch, and friend Ken with Jeremy  and Fifth and Final after winning at Alexandra Park on 26 April
(c) Race Images

As the outsider of the six-horse field, he clearly outpointed the favourite and stablemate Billy The Kid after enjoying a 1×1 sit, both horses trained at Pukekohe by Jeremy Young.

So where does that name come from?

Some believe it was the 5th foal from the mare and supposed to be her last but she was served by Downbytheseaside in the breeding season just passed only to conceive twins and when 1 embryo was terminated, a later scan revealed no embryos.

Bob Lynch’s version of how the horse got its name is quite different.

“The grandchildren named the horse….I used to be a rugby league referee and when it came to tackle five, I would hold up my hand and call out 5th and final,” he explained.

There is every chance that Kissimmee will return to Downbytheseaside in the next breeding season.

The Lynchs have been breeding harness horses for 40 years with Bob holding a trainer’s licence from 1985 through to 2017. In that time he trained 11 winners with a further 27 placings.

Some 20 years ago, Bob asked former Pukekohe horseman Benny Hill to keep an eye out for a nice filly while working back then at Dancingonmoonlight in North Canterbury. Benny duly recommended Kissimmee and she was sent north as a yearling. A daughter of noted Australian sire Fake Left from the renown ‘Tactics’ family, Kissimmee would go on to win 4 races and $40k in stakes.

“She was always a physically mature filly and showed her best form over the sprint distances and is probably the best horse we have anything to do with,” quipped Bob.

The broodmare career of Kissimmee has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride but she left Three Kisses (by Mach Three) who won 10 races & close to $100k in stakes, taking a time of 1:53 in Australia where she is now breeding on for her Australian owners.

Next came Four Kisses (by Art Major) who won 2 for the Lynchs and is now in the broodmare band numbering three.

Unfortunately, she too conceived twins, to Bettor’s Delight last season, but again the embryo separation was unsuccessful, and she too will be re-served by that sire again in the coming season.

Fifth And Final was her last live foal but that was back in 2019.

Making up the broodmare band is Asteria Lavra, a half sister to top trotter in Master Lavros by Angus Hall who was secured for the Lynchs by northern horseman Bernie Hackett from Lavros Lodge in the south.

She won two races (as a 4 & 5yo) in 38 starts but missed last season to E L Titan and subsequently has been put back into work as a 7yo with Jeremy Young and according to Lynch is shaping up well at this time.

In the meantime, Fifth And Final, now the winner of two (from 13 starts) will continue to be the focus for the enthusiastic harness hobbyists and the manner of his latest win suggested that he might just give the record of his dam something to think about as the season progresses.