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First Local Winner For Harbour Watch
Two-time Emirates Park visitor Harbour Watch (Ire) got off to a perfect start with his first-crop 2YO runners in Australia when Harnova scored an impressive debut victory in the Romantic Dream Plate (1000m) at Tamworth yesterday. A flashy looking chestnut gelding trained at Port Macquarie by Neil Godbolt, Harnova went in to the contest off a near four-length second placing in an 800m Cessnock trial to race favourite Mr Grumpy ($1.90) but duly reversed the previous finishing order with a determined on-speed performance. Ridden just off the leader for the majority of the contest, Harnova slowly wore down Mr Grumpy over the final 100 metres of the race to win by half a length. The strapping son of Harbour Watch thus became his sire's first Australian winner from the stallion's first-ever starter Down Under. "We always knew he was a good horse and it was good [the performance] in the end… He's really improved since the trial… I know Neil thinks he is still 12 months away; he doesn't know where to put his arms [sic] and legs at the moment, but he'll make a nice horse in the future," said stable spokesman Simon Thompson. Winning jockey Samantha Clenton was equally impressed: "He jumped good and travelled well; he's still very green and has a lot of learning to do, but class prevailed today." Harbour Watch stood at Emirates Park's Murrurundi headquarters in 2013 and 2014, consecutive southern hemisphere breeding seasons that yielded 100 collective foals. Harnova was bred by Emirates Park from an unraced daughter of Carnegie (Ire) that is a half-sister to the former high-class Melbourne racemare Avienus, winner of the Group 2 MVRC Stock Stakes in 2010.