Bagrie bags a double at Westport
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Tom Bagrie came up short by a nose of having the perfect day at Patterson Park on Monday.
The Kaiapoi trainer recorded a winning double with half-siblings Wickenheiser and Starvin Marvin, before stablemate Belmont Major finished second by a nose to Fynn Frost in the Caltex Westport Handicap Pace (2600m).
The son of Art Major was also runner-up at Westport on Saturday and he will be out to go one better in the Reefton Cup (3200m) on Wednesday.
“Belmont Major went well, but he can’t seem to cut the breaks at the moment,” Bagrie said. “He has been doing a lot of work and has been going some great races.
“After doing it pretty hard in the Westport Cup, he did it hard again sitting parked today. I am pretty proud of his efforts of late.
“He pulled up really well, so all systems are go for Reefton.”
Earlier on the card, Bagrie was rapt to record a winning double with Wickenheiser and Starvin Marvin in the Speights/McManus Hotel Mobile Pace (2600m) and Denniston Dog Mobile Pace (2600m) respectively.
“The team went great, I am absolutely rapt,” Bagrie said.
“Wickenheiser was beaten by a good one (The Black Shadow, when finishing third) on the first day. She blew hard and might have needed the run. It looked like she stripped a bit fitter today and got a perfect trip from Johnny Dunn (driver).”
While Bagrie was pleased with the result, he admitted he had his heart in his mouth after she put in a couple of rough strides at the start.
“She has a tendency to do that (break) from occasion,” Bagrie said. “She is pretty quick to go back to pacing, so I was holding my breath hoping that she would, and luckily it went that way for us today.”
Bagrie was particularly happy about Starvin Marvin’s win, with the victory helping lift the spirits of her part-owners.
“He got a trip to suit him,” Bagrie said. “Drawing one was good because he likes following speed and has a good finish. He got off at the right time and it worked out perfectly.
“The win was especially good for the Chamberlains. Their Grandma died on Boxing Day, so it was a special win for them. She loved following all the horses that they owned.”
Bagrie’s partner, Bonnie Heyde, also shares in the ownership, and she is expecting the couple’s first child in the coming days.
“My partner is pregnant and is due in a few days, so I have just been coming over for the day,” Bagrie said.
“Ross White has been looking after them and he has been doing a fantastic job.”
Bagrie is looking forward to Reefton on Wednesday, where all three of his runners are set to back-up, but depending on his baby, he may be cheering for them from the delivery room.