FORMER problem child Fred Ned delivered a drought-breaking victory in Birchip yesterday.
Making his debut last season as a seven-year-old, Fred Ned was having his seventh start when he scored for veteran trainer Walter Newton.
Newton’s previous trip to the winners’ circle was with Fred Ned’s half-brother Pannosus in October, 2012.
Fred Ned’s success doubles as an early birthday present for Newton who turns 81 next week!
“It’s been a long time since I had a winner,” Newton said. “I only ever have one or two in work and did have a handful of years in between where I never had a starter.
“It was good to see him out there and getting a win.”
Driven by popular reinswoman Jackie Barker, Fred Ned finished strongly along the home straight to score by a head from Missmalachite.
Epic Orion was a metre-and-a-half away third in 2:03.3 over 2150 metres.
“Jackie is a great driver and did a perfect job with him,” Newton said.
“I was reasonably confident with him before the race as I looked at the field and thought it was pretty even, and given the way he had been coming home in his races, I thought he was a big chance to win.
“Turning for home I expected him to finish it off well and felt he could round them up.”
Bred and 0wned by Newton along with his wife, Heather, Fred Ned is enjoying “a couple of days off” before the next suitable target is selected for the son of Metropolitan.
“I will have to see what is around for him,” Newton said. “He knows what he is doing now, but has taken a long time to be where he is.
“He was a problem child as he had a testicle up in his stomach and became a vicious horse to handle. He wanted to bite and so on, which is why he never started racing until he was seven.
“He was nearly five by the time he was gelded, and even after that, he took a while to settle down as he still wanted to bite and such
“His half-brother took a long time to get going and his mother was pretty old by the time she raced.
“I’m not a big believer in racing them early anyway, but he has taken a while to come to hand.”