An incredible journey for Delightful Major


Delightful Major got one stop closer to completing an incredible journey from death’s door to the New Zealand Derby with a big win at Addington on Friday night.

The three-year-old made remained unbeaten in two starts with a crushing win over 1980m in an impressive 1-55.8 mile-rate.

Trainer Michael House nominated Delightful Major for the New Zealand Derby before the horse had even had a start.

The horse looks to have justified that move six weeks out from the Group 1 classic.

“I nominated him as an unraced horse,” House said.

“The nominations for the Derby closed the day he won his first race.”

Delightful Major’s two wins have helped the horse get his career back on track after it hung in the balance last season.

The Art Major pacer was struck down by a mystery illness when being prepared for his first start.

“He has always been a lovely horse, he was set to race in the Welcome Stakes last season.”

“If you look at his trials as a two-year-old he was performing very well.”

“In his last trial, he put in a nice run in amongst nice horses.”

“But he tried dying on us the week of the Welcome Stakes and we had to scratch him.”

The mystery illness left Delightful Major unwell for around six months.

Delightful Major will have one more start ahead of the New Zealand Derby.

With 37 horses nominated for the 2600m feature, it will depend on where the horse sits on the order of entry as to whether he gets a start.

“He will have another start between now and the derby.”

“Hopefully off those three runs he will be in the derby, it might be touch and go.

“There might be better horses out there that knock him out of it, but I think he is pretty smart.”

Spellbound set a New Zealand record for a two-year-old filly in clocking a 2.25.5 time over the newly established 1980m distance at Addington.

Driver John Dunn wore trainer Margo Nyhan’s black and white colours when steering Spellbound to victory.

A series of auctions and other initiatives were staged that also added to the fundraising efforts for Nyhan and Peter Davis, who are recovering from injuries sustained in a recent road accident.

A portion of Spellbound’s stake money would be donated to the cause thanks to the Westview Racing Super17 Syndicate, and the The Witches Of Westview No.2 Syndicate, who race her.

The Robert Dunn-trained pacer justified the big reputation she had gained after producing smart trial performances ahead of her debut.


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