News

Monte saddle gather momentum

by Duane Ranger

Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett’s Waiuku stable will be represented by eight trotters at Cambridge on Sunday – three of them in the first ever Monte Saddle Trot to be held at the Raceway.

In fact Wallis rated her four-win Majestic Son mare, Majestic Ali, as her best winning chance of the day. The five-year-old will line up in the Monte Trot which will be run at 3.10pm (between races six and seven).

The Monte event will be sponsored by Cambridge Garrards Horse & Hound who will present the winning prize.

“We've got three (of the six runners) in the Saddle trot and Majestic Ali just seems to thrive on this type of racing.

“Commander Paris has had one trial and broke on the last bend, while Makarewa Jake doesn’t seem to be able to give 100 percent the left-handed way around. He’s the type of horse that will also have to be looked after around last the bend,” Wallis said.

Finnish-born Maattanen, who works for Brent Mangos at Pukekohe, rode Makarewa Jake to win the first Monte Saddle Trot at the Pukekohe Workouts on April 29.

The 26-year-old also finished second in the first Monte Trot Exhibition race, staged at Alexandra Park on May 26.

This time she had to bow by a few lengths to 15-year-old Tyla Hackett and the Wallis and Hackett trained Majestic Ali. Tyla is the daughter of Wallis and Hackett and is also a New Zealand Show Jumping Junior Rider-of-the-Year.

She will ride Majestic Ali again on Sunday.

“We want to get as many horses and jockeys qualified as possible. Harness racing needs something fresh and Bernie and I are determined to get this off the ground,” Wallis said.

“We have had so much support it has been heartening,” she added.

Meanwhile, Wallis said Donna May (race 2) was the stable’s best winning chance in the TAB trotting events at ‘The Raceway’ on Sunday.

Here’s what she had to say about her stable’s five runners:

Race 2:
(4) Madhubala (Michelle Wallis) - "Three-year-old filly who will be going out for a spell after this race. She’s got a little bit of speed but has no strength yet. She has shown glimpses of form but needs to get stronger and for that reason I think she will make a much better four-year-old.”

(5) Secretofthesea Smile (Todd Mitchell) – "She can trot a little bit but can be unruly at the start. If Todd can get her away I think she is capable of placing.”

(9) Donna May 30m (Maurice McKendry - MNZM) – "She should be hard to beat because once she comes back into form she usually holds it, She worked real nice on the beach (Karioitahi) on Thursday, and would be our best winning chance. She has placed six times at Cambridge.”

Race 5:
(3) Our Rosa (Maurice McKendry - MNZM) – "She’s a three-year-old who could find this opposition a little bit tough even though she won well last start, it was only a two-horse Breeders’ Crown heat at Alexandra Park. She has the good draw, but she’s also a bit weak at this stage of her career. She can place but I think Creamee (8) and Primus Inter Pares (10) are nicely handicapped here and they the are horses to beat. She too will make a better four-year-old.”

(9) Blood And Whisky 10m (Michelle Wallis) – "He’s also nominated for Alexandra Park on Friday and he’s not racing as well as what he could. We have backed him up to see if it will wake his ideas up. He has won a Monte Saddle heat before, but we preferred to race him in this R50 to R68 trot. He’s better than what he’s shown of late. First four possibly.”

The field for the first ever Monte Saddle Trot to be staged at Cambridge Raceway on Sunday is:

Monte Saddle Trot Sunday’s Exhibition Monte Trot - 2200m – 3.10pm:

1) The Jay Abernethy trained Way to Go (Lisa Olsson).

2) The Michelle Wallis & Bernie Hackett trained Commander Paris (Catherine Cameron).

3) The Nicky Chilcott trained Loki Brogden (Jo Stevens).

4) The Michelle Wallis & Bernie Hackett trained Majestic Ali (Tyla Hackett).

5) The Michelle Wallis & Bernie Hackett trained Makarewa Jake (Riina Maattanen).

6) The Jim Cole trained Cool Sun (David Medcalfe).