Almarie purchased on delivers a first for Isdale and HewetsonJun 19, 2017 3:47 PM

Almarie delivered a special win at Ruakaka recently for Gemma Hewetson and her partner, trainer Clinton Isdale.

Low-priced online auction purchase Almarie earned a special place in the hearts of Te Awamutu couple Clinton Isdale and Gemma Hewetson with victory in the $10,000 Ruakaka Beach Front Motel Maiden at Ruakaka.

It was the first career training success for Isdale, an internationally accomplished horseman and a former jockey in Australia. He also shares ownership of the four-year-old Alamosa mare with his partner Hewetson, whose father is well-known Waikato horseman Robbie.

Gemma Hewetson bought Almarie on in May last year, paying just $2875. At that stage she had started nine times for two minor placings, earning just over $2000 in prize-money.

Since then Almarie has lined up in another 14 races, with this breakthrough win coming after a further six placings. Her prize-money earnings now stand at $15,975.

A close last-start second at this course over 1200 metres, Almarie was sent out as the $9.60 third favourite in the 13-horse maiden field. She broke alertly from the starting gates and took the lead before rider Mark Du Plessis handed up to Teegeevee after about 200 metres.

Almarie hit the front again at the top of the straight and quickly kicked clear, then showed plenty of courage in the last 100 metres to hold out the late challenge of the Logan-Gibbs runner Kyrie Eleison by a head.

“It’s great,” Hewetson told “It’s a shame that Clinton couldn’t be here for this, but he’s at home doing all of the work!

“We’ve got six horses in work at home and it’s just the two of us doing everything, so we take turns coming to the races. Last time he went along while I stayed home, so he said that I could go this time. It means a lot to both of us.”

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