NEWS PREVIEW

Further Christchurch sporting success for All Black

But when Ready Eddie arrives home next week, Manawatu dairy farmer and former All Blacks prop Gary Knight will be able to do just that.
Knight races Wednesday's Grand National Hurdles winner Ready Eddie with his daughter Laura, who also trains the Yamanin Vital nine-year-old gelding.
Knight was also a part-owner of 2012 winner Wotabuzz, who retired to the Rangiotu farm and now serves as a showjumper and sport horse for Laura and her partner Stephen Nickalls, also a racing trainer.
"He'll come home and get put out in the same paddock as Wotabuzz and they will be able to talk about how they each won it," Knight said of Ready Eddie.
Knight watched the race on television with his wife Wendy, opting against heading to Christchurch because he had too much pressing work on the farm where he milks 550 cows.
"We're up to our knees in mud here at the moment and there's plenty of work that needs doing,” he said.
“I would have loved being down there and I do try and get to the races when Laura and Stephen have one going, but I just had a bit much on at home.
"This has to rate as our best win, especially for Laura and the family. It's the best we've had. Both Laura and Stephen are going so well. We've had Ready Eddie and [Manawatu Steeplechase winner] The Oysterman here and they've both performed very well.
"Everything is done from the farm. Stephen and Laura ride them around the paddock, around the hills, round the beach and sometimes head to the racetrack as well. But then the Andertons do turn out a very good product too."
Bred by White Robe Lodge's Brian and Lorraine Anderton, Ready Eddie was afterwards found to have injured a tendon in Wednesday's race and Nickalls told NZ Racing Desk the jumper wouldn't race again this season.
"He's pretty sore. He'll head home and spend time in the paddock. If he comes up okay next year, we'd look at aiming him at the Grand National Hurdles again.”
Ready Eddie's success continued a remarkable string of sporting success in Christchurch for Gary Knight, who won a bronze medal for wrestling at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in the city and later played test rugby at Lancaster Park as part of 66 matches for the All Blacks, 33 of those being in tests.
Knight can now add dual Grand National Hurdles-winning owner to that list.
"Whether it's going there on holiday or to watch horse races, I love going down to the South Island,” he said.
“I love going to White Robe Lodge and spending time there. I feel very comfortable down there and I guess I feel even better about Christchurch after yesterday too."

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