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The Rev finally shows up for Hjalmarsson

by Duane Ranger

Mattias Hjalmarsson has known for more than a year what The Rev is capable of.

But the Swedish-born, Pukekohe-based trainer also knows that The Rev isn’t the wisest cookie in the biscuit jar.

As Hjalmarsson put it, ‘it was just a matter of wait and hope’.

The erratic trotter that has broken more times than he hasn’t in 23 life-time starts, broke through for his maiden victory at Cambridge Raceway yesterday (Sunday).

The Rev and junior driver Robert Argue dealt to their nine opponents by six lengths in the $8,000 Cambridge New World Handicap for the maiden up to R49 trotters.

It was Hjalmarsson’s second training success of the season after Lundqvist (Andre Poutama) got the chocolates at Cambridge on October 21.

Prior to that, his last winner came via Eyrewell Pegasus (Todd Mitchell) on November 16, 2014, also at Cambridge Raceway.

“That was my 10th training win now. They don’t come around regularly enough though. I've also had 40 other placings since I took out my licence in 2012. That’s 50 all-up ($124,281 career stakes).

“The Rev was always capable of surprising. He’s got a nice gait and can trot, but he hasn’t got a brain. He’s a rising five-year-old, so I’m hoping the penny is finally starting to click.

“He’s always been capable, because he has gone 2:50. I’ve know he’s been able to do this for at least a year now. Up until yesterday, he’s just been so frustrating,” said Hjalmarsson.

The Rev trotted yesterday’s 2200m mobile in 2:56.2 (mile rate 2:08.9) and came home in 59.5 and 29.5. He was the $19.20 ninth favourite of 10.

He is owned by Hjalmarsson and the Classic Equine New Zealand Syndicate. The Revenue - Beasley gelding was bred by Colonial Breeding Services Limited.

Hjalmarsson had big praise for driver Argue.

“When Rob got him to step and then get to the lead like he did, I didn’t mind him being way out on his own in the pace-making role. It was a good gutsy positive drive. I’m just rapt the horse finally showed something on race-day.

“I like the kid (Argue). He’s a good driver and promising young horseman. I am proud that he got his 15th career win through The Rev. He’s now a premier night driver and I’m pleased to say that we helped him on his way,” Hjalmarsson said.

Argue felt he was on the winner a long way from home.

“After we had gone 200m he was just in the zone and trotting like a toff. I knew I had it won at the 600 because he was trotting real fluent and safe,” Argue said.

“I've hit all my goals for the season and gone past $100,000 in season stakes. That was my 12th win. That was a great way to end the season at Cambridge,” he added.

Hjalmarsson said he had virtually retired from driving, and it was encouraging to call on young drivers who were prepared to both work and listen.

His last driving success came behind his beloved Amy's Invasion at Waimate on December 16, 2012. She finished a 10.5 length fourth behind her stablemate on Sunday.

Another highlight of the meeting came in the first ever Monte Saddle Trot, which was raced between the sixth and seventh events.

The 2200m Monte attracted six entries with Commander Paris and Catherine Cameron winning by a large margin from Makarewa Jake (Riina Maattanen), and Majestic Ali and Tyla Hackett third.

Wallis and Hackett only had three horses in the saddle trot and they nailed the trifecta. The Jim Cole trained Cool Sun and David Medcalfe were fourth.

Only two horses recorded sub two-minute mile rates at Sunday’s meeting.

They were the Arna Donnelly trained and Scott Phelan driven Glenferrie Duster (1:58 even), and the Ray Green trained and David Butcher driven Rocknroll Lincoln (1:59.9). Both were favourites paying $1.60 and $2 respectively.