Lately I have been finding that the odds are better on the tote than the Tab fixed odds at the jump I am not backing favorites and only place betting. That being said I do agree with you that the tote odds do change a lot and have been burned by the odds crashing in previously. I do still tend to back them fixed as at least you know what you are getting back.
Gray closing in on milestone
30 June 2016, 1:24 p.m.
Kevin Gray is just two victories away from reaching 1000 New Zealand wins in his remarkable career.
The Palmerston North trainer goes into Friday's Waverley meeting with 998 wins to his credit in New Zealand, accumulated over the 36 years since he first took out his licence at 43.
Kevin Gray Photo: Trish Dunell
Gray, who worked closely with Copper Belt during his time working for Brian Deacon and in more recent years has conditioned the likes of Daffodil and Legs, says getting to 1000 wins is recognition for the hard yards he has done in racing over the years.
"It'll be a great thrill. There's not a great many trainers in New Zealand to have done it," said Gray, who turns 79 on Satuday.
"It's been a huge effort to get here. I've done it the hard way."
Gray lost his father while he was still a boy and made his way in the rural sector through sheer hard work.
He worked as a sheep station shepherd, once spending 19 weeks driving a huge flock of sheep between Gisborne and Patea along public roads, before taking on a role as a stock agent at Waverley. During that time, he was also working with horses, pre-training for prominent trainers Deacon, Wally McEwen and Herb Bergerson.
When Deacon relocated from South Taranaki to Takanini, Gray took out his trainer's licence and took over training for some of his owners.
"I was a late starter in training, but I'd been involved with the horses well before I took my licence out. I'd done all the work with Copper Belt," Gray said.
"I've had a lot of good horses over the years - too many to remember them all. I've had some great winners and trained for some great owners."
As well as being recognised as a proficient mentor of a racehorse, Gray is renowned as a mentor of many a good horseman.
Trainers John Boon and Alexander Fieldes honed their craft under Gray's tutelage, while 15 apprentices have come under his wing, among them the likes of Lisa Allpress, Bruce Herd, Damon Smith, Hayden Tinsley, Kim Clapperton, Eddie Lamb, Paul Worthington and current novice Holly Andrew.
"I'm so proud of them all. The kids all come back to me and they respect me and what I've done for them."
Gray rode trackwork from age 10 and was an amateur rider and in the New Zealand buckjumping team.
He has also been an active administrator, serving as president for the Waverley Racing Club and the Egmont-Wanganui Hunt Club.
Gray's son Stephen trained in partnership with him before going on to forge a successful career in Singapore, feats he is especially proud of.
"He's done very well for himself up there," Gray said.
Gray could say the same for himself.
Despite some reservations about current racing administration and stalling prize money levels, Gray remains passionate about racing and his involvement.
He also pays tribute to his wife Kathleen's input into the stable over the years.
"I couldn't have done it without Kathleen," Gray said.
"We've been married 53 years and we're great mates. We love each other and always have each other's back. Back when we had workers and apprentices living with us, she'd cook breakfast for 20 and think nothing of it."
As fitting as reaching 1000 wins on his old home track of Waverley on Friday would be, Gray is happy to celebrate the milestone whenever it happens.
"It would be nice to get it at Waverley, but whatever will be will be. I'm not a greedy man." - NZ Racing Desk
Quite agree Hesi. There might be a way this could work, but there's a number of rather tall hurdles to overcome and you have highlighted one.
Another is that Lotto draws are successfully delivered in the evening after 8pm, not on weekdays when most people are working and kids are at school, or on Saturday afternoon when folk are busy playing sport, or watching kids play sport, or gardening, doing DIY projects etc. I think the Avondale lights were last seen in Levin but lord knows where they are now.
Another is that it is pointless selling such a bet in TABs - the general non-punting public don't go there; or on the TAB website - they don't go there either.
If you can overcome those issues it might work.
While the owners and managers of RaceCafe endeavour to moderate and control the site and posts on it, they give no guarantee that posts are true and correct, and take no responsibility whatsoever for what individuals post on the site.
Posts do not necessarily reflect the sentiments, views or beliefs of Race Cafe or its owners and management.
The owners and managers of RaceCafe reserve the right to remove posts from the site and to provide details of members whose posts warrant scrutiny.