Big day for Brent Ward

J Scott Former News, Latest News




Boxing Day, 2011, was memorable for two new lifestyle developments for big scoring provincial rugby full back Brent Ward.

He became engaged to partner Sarah only a few hours before cheering Saskia Finn home to win a maiden at Westport _ his first win as a racehorse owner.


Brent co-owns Saskia Finn with last year’s Crusaders team-mate Zac Guildford, and a team of other Mark Jones stable owners _ including Mike and Helen Finlayson, Nathan Brown, and the Riverside Boxing Club Syndicate.

“I thought it might have been a good omen (getting engaged the same day),” Brent said.

“We were just sitting around on Boxing Day and watched it. We were stoked,” he said.

Saskia Finn, a game third on debut at Winton in her debut on December 17, moved up parked over the final 1000m on Boxing Day and fought tenaciously to score by a neck over Christian Acropolis in the hands of her trainer.


She again made a move to be parked mid-race, this time with 1200m to run first-up in the 1-win grade on the second day at Westport on Wednesday, December 28.

After gaining cover from the 1000m ran on solidly for third behind front-running Cheryl West and Unico Rose (trail).

Brent had been visiting Lake Taupo this week and was in phone conversation with his rugby mate after Monday’s success.

“Zac is in Napier, but we had a good chat and enjoyed the moment,” he said.


“We went in one earlier with Jonesy, which was meant to race after Christmas, but was sold to Australia before racing here. Its been great to get us involved.”

“I think Zac’s been involved in a couple of others but this is my first to race,” he said.


Ward, 32, who has played 36 Super rugby matches combined for the Hurricanes, Blues and latterly the Crusaders, is unsigned with a franchise this year.

Saskia Finn, a three-year-old filly by former top American pacer and now sire Artsplace, is bred to be handy.

She is the first foal from the unraced Maggie Finn, by Badlands Hanover from the former good North American winning grey mare Clearly Visible (1:54, 11 wins and $171,543).

Clearly Visible, a daughter of Laag, was imported to NZ by Clive and Rona McKay. She met with mixed success at stud before she died in 2006.


By Jeff Scott