News

Bookies get stung

NZ HARNESS NEWS

The punters love it when their enemies, the bookies, get stung and that was the case at Alexandra Park tonight.

Magilligan Point landed a substantial and sustained betting plunge in his first start for new trainer James Stormont.

The TAB odds-setters opened him at $28 late yesterday afternoon and he was backed from all angles.

An opening bet of $380 at the $28 quote is believed to have been followed by multiple bets at $18, $16, $14, $12, $10 and $6.

The bookies finally pleaded for mercy by shortening the son of Gotta Go Cullect in to $3 favouritism not long before race start time.

Even then, they got another bet of $1000 at that shortened quote.

Despite the pressure of all that support, Stormont got the job done, Magilligan Point winning after sitting parked for the last 1200 metres.

For Stormont it was just satisfying to get a first-up win for long-time stable client, Eugene Storck, a South Auckland-based scrap metal dealer.

Storck wrote the cheque to purchase Magilligan Point out of Tim Hall’s barn back in June after Stormont drove him in a couple of starts at Cambridge.

Naturally, Stormont was happy to repay that faith in his judgement tonight.

“I was really happy for Eugene as he hasn’t had a lot of luck the past few years.

“I know he likes to have a bet on them, too, and I think he got on pretty early yesterday.”

Tonight’s outing came after a false start a fortnight ago when the horse was scratched with a minor illness.

“He had a bit of a virus; his white cell count was out for a while.

“It was tempting to start but I really wanted to make sure he was a good winning chance for Eugene so we waited a few weeks.

“I still thought he might have needed the run tonight but it proved to be that he was fit enough.”

Magilligan Point will now head for a 3-week spell and then be set for some nice races on premier night at the Christmas Carnival.

“Tim was going to give him a break when we bought him and I think he probably does need a bit of a let up.”

Stormont continued on his good recent winning when recording a training and driving double with Shady Sadie in the R59-73 trot.

She led, then trailed and came up the passing lane with authority to win comfortably.

“I’m a lot happier with her this time in; she had a lot of issues with putting her back out last time.

“Her trial was good last week but over 2700 tonight I thought she might have been a run short, too.

“But she got away with some cheap sectionals early and won it quite easily in the end.

“She’s raced by a group of old school friends and it was nice to win another one for them.”

Stormont went within a whisker of making it a treble when another stable trotter, Forfeathers, was beaten a whisker by Djokovic in the night’s main trot.