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Ali knocks them out in Breeders Stakes

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Majestic Ali prevailed in a thrilling finish to the Group 3 $30,000 Northern Breeders Stakes for trotting fillies and mares and in the process gave her trainers back-to-back wins in the race.

Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett actually had the first two horses over the line, with last year’s winner Princess Mackendon a nose away in second.

But she was subsequently disqualified with driver Tony Cameron ruled to have gained an unfair advantage by going inside the marker pegs down the straight.

But the stable was still victorious and one of the more consistent mares at Alexandra Park over the past couple of seasons earned a nice reward for her owners.

Wallis had noted in the media during the week that she felt Majestic Ali, who was fresh up since December 1, was probably a run short of the mark.

But driver Maurice McKendry had a different opinion and wasn’t surprised by the win.

“She went pretty nice at the trials the other day and I thought she would go pretty well tonight,” he said post race.

Her record over 2700 metres hasn’t been overly flash, but a strong tempo set by Tereskova brought the field back to the natural sit-sprinter.

“That took the sting out of them I thought, plus the track was a wee bit damp which also helped her, too.”

The finish wasn’t without a few hairy moments for McKendry as Majestic Ali put in a rough step just short of the line.

“She put in a funny one and I had to hold her together; I was holding my breath those last few strides.”

Majestic Ali is a daughter of former two and three-year-old trotting filly of the year, Galleon’s Paradise, which McKendry drove to victory on a few occasions in 1997.

“Her mother was a really good mare and she’s passed some of that speed on to her.”

Race favourite Yagunnakissmeornot was disappointing, dropping out to finish last after starting from a 30-metre handicap.

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