Waimate magic for Madiba

 By Tayler Strong

A change of driver worked the oracle when John Dunn drove Madiba Magic to an upset win in the Lifetime Insurance and Financial Advisers Waimate Cup on grass at Oamaru yesterday.

Madiba Magic had been driven in his previous 18 starts for wins at Rangiora and Westport by Samantha Ottley,  but the Christian Cullen – Foreal five-year-old gelding had  been winless in seven starts since late December.

Ottley drove stablemate, Artismee.

Robert Dunn, the trainer of Madiba Magic, won the 2003 Waimate Cup with Make A Meddle.

John drove the Geoff Dunn-trained C C Mee to win the race in 2004.

Madiba Magic, owned by Terry McDonald, of Christchurch and Eddie Griffin, of Dunedin, began racing from the Dunn stable in May last year after winning two races for Tim Butt.

“He (Madiba Magic) used to over-race. He has got a lot better and Sam has done a great job getting him settled in his races,’’ said John Dunn.

He took Madiba Magic to the lead after 600m in the 3000m contest.

Madiba Magic clung grimly to the lead in the closing stages and won by a head from Jack Hammer, who was four back on the inner for much of the way.

Quick As a Trick came from last of the main bunch and several lengths from the lead at the 600m for third.

The well supported Mighty Major settled back in the field, improved to the second line at the 1200m then dropped out to eleventh.

Sarah Palin extended her good record on grass when she won the main event for trotters.

Peter Davis gave her the run of the race behind pace-maker, Bet’s Sun and she came along the inner in the stretch to win decisively.

Trainer Dean Taylor who won the Winton Cup on Saturday with That’s Hunting Pink, stopped off at Oamaru on the way home to Ladbrooks and geared up Lilac Desire for an upset win.