Gardiner’s first win thanks to a ‘Breeders spot-prize’

By Duane Ranger

First-time owner/breeder, Dan Gardiner, has tasted that winning feeling after just five starts.

The 42-year-old Christchurch accountant, who admits he’s a complete racing novice, broke maiden ranks when More Gooda easily won in the first race by three-and-a-half lengths at Addington Raceway last Thursday (September 22).

Mel, Olivia, Theo and Dan

Gardiner would never have tasted success had it not been for his boss at ‘HSW Accountants’, Hamish Scott.

Gardiner and his wife Melanie Renner, who also works at ‘HSW’, were invited to a Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Function in Christchurch just over five years ago by Scott – the man who co-bred and co-owned the multiple Group winning mare, Kiwi Ingenuity.

“We won a spot-prize, which was a service fee to Highview Tommy. Then ‘Rar’ Henry and Andrew Stuart suggested the former (one-win) Art Major mare, he trained named. Major Overdrive.

“So, we borrowed the mare so we could breed one foal out of her, and More Gooda was the result. My wife has owned horses and been in syndicates before, and now I know what this winning feeling feels like

“I’m grateful to Hamish and Andrew for what they did in making this happen. It’s addictive and that’s why we got others involved in the ownership.

“It’s a great way to spend a Thursday or Friday night out together – and well winning was a bonus,” Gardiner said. She’s a nice horse Andrew said, and I agree with him. Hopefully there will be more to come,” Gardiner said.

More Gooda is owned by Gardiner and friends Richard aka ‘Rar’ Henry, Hayley Walker and Richard Catherwood. Stuart does the training at Rangiora, while Robbie Close was the driver.

Major Overdrive, who is now 10, lost her Auckland Reactor filly in 2017, and has not been in foal since More Gooda came into this world on October 31, 2018.

Major Overdrive is the fourth of six foals out of the four-win 2003 In The Pocket – We Love To Party (Fake Left) mare, Dontdrinkthendrive (1:56.1).

The best of her siblings was Dontdrinkthendrive’s youngest foal – the now USA-based 2013 six-win ($78,343) Art Major mare, Sheza GNP (1:52).

So how did More Gooda get a grammatically incorrect name?

“You can blame that on my 10-year-old son, Theo, who was six at the time. I said to the kids I wanted a horse that sounded fast.

“Theo came up with the name because that’s what he wanted the Highview Tommy filly to be,” Gardiner said.

“Olivia (daughter) picked ‘Raven’ as her stable name,” he added.

Gardiner said he experienced a surreal and strange feeling shortly after race one on Friday.

Dan Gardiner’s parents Jeff and Denise with his daughter, Olivia, with More Gooda.

“I knew she had a strong finish and when she was nicely positioned in the home straight, I thought this is where she should be.

“I was quite excited when she powered home. Hamish said he didn’t think I was capable of any real emotion. He said I surprised him with my reaction,” The Middleton High School and Canterbury University-educated Gardiner said.

Footnote: And if that wasn’t enough ‘raffles’ luck, Scott himself won a service to Lather Up, donated by Woodlands Stud NZ, at the 20th annual Breeder’s Function in Christchurch on Friday, September 16.