Home' Christchurch Mail : November 8th 2012 Contents 8 CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, NOVEMBER 8, 2012
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Ex-cop patrols eighth cup
But veteran starter
still gets butterflies
before the big race
By MAT KERMEEN
Peter Lamb on a
standing start gate
identical to the one he
will use to start the
New Zealand Trotting
Cup at Addington
MOBILE START: Peter Lamb in his starting box on the mobile gate at Addington Raceway on Friday night.
To hear 20,000 people singing
the national anthem, that gets
the blood pumping.''
THERE ARE so many key players
in next week s New Zealand Trot-
ting Cup -- Ricky May, Dexter
Dunn, Mark Purdon and Anthony
Butt. . .thelistgoeson.
But all those drivers will be
watchful of a Darfield dark horse
who will be pivotal when the field
sets off chasing glory.
He will not win the race, he will
not even figure in the finish, but
when it comes to the start, the
buck stops with Peter Lamb.
If it goes wrong then I have to
wear it, the official starter at
Addington Raceway said.
Once a hobby trainer, Mr Lamb
masterminded one of the biggest
David versus Goliath moments in
recent racing memory when his
trotter Play On stormed to victory
in the Inter Dominion Handicap
He was rated no hope at Auck-
land s Alexandra Park as a $47 to
$1 chance, but after scraping
through qualifying, Play On
scorched the field and upset some
highly fancied horses.
That was a real life highlight.
It was a very special time for us
and I will never forget it.
After training horses for 10 sea-
sons, Mr Lamb was due to retire
from the police, so when the gig as
starter at Addington came up, it
was an opportunity too good to
It just presented itself at the
right time and I was keen to give
it a go.
He started on the gun in 2006,
but leading into his eighth cup
there will still be butterflies in the
stomach before the big race.
You would have to be a rock if
you didn t get nervous. It s just a
matter of blocking all that out and
doing my best to make sure it s a
good clean and fair start.
Experience is a valued tool in
any occupation, and starting races
is no different. In the lead-up to
Cup Week all the big bangers
have raced at Addington so the
experienced horseman knows
what to expect and what it takes
to get the horses standing in an
You never know what will hap-
pen on the day, but you get a gen-
eral idea of how each driver and
horse will settle.
With the race starting on the
back straight, Mr Lamb will miss
the action on the finishing
straight, but he s not worried.
When he clutches the lever that
drops the tapes for New Zea-
land s marquee harness race,
there is nowhere he would rather
If I didn t get excited by the
atmosphere and the calibre of
bloodstock on display during Cup
Week I would be in the wrong job.
To hear 20,000 people singing
the national anthem, that gets the
blood pumping. I hear the crowd
roar once the race starts and
again when they get around to the
front straight. It s a pretty amaz-
So what does the man with one
of the most important jobs of the
day hope for?
Hopefully, they all get away
well with no interference or
horses playing up. If no one is
talking about the start, then we
will have done our job.
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