CD Cups head home to Canterbury
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Prebbleton trainer Michael House was once again a dominant force in Central Districts harness racing on Wednesday, taking out Otaki’s two feature races.
Revenue gelding Break Free had a mountain to climb from his 70m back mark in the Wellington Cup Handicap Trot (3000m) and was aided by a cool-headed drive by Peter Ferguson.
The eight-year-old was able to make light work of his handicap and tack onto the main field before improving to sit midfield at the 1400m mark. He was once again called upon by Ferguson with 800m to go to sit outside pacemaker Mocca Francy, and took charge of the race turning for home.
However, he trotted roughly in the closing stages, relinquishing his slight advantage, but Ferguson showed his experience in holding his charge together and Break Free was able to recover and fight back for a neck victory over Mocca Francy.
“It was the right horse on the right day, and it was a great drive,” House said.
“He (Ferguson) managed to save him, got him back and held on and got him across the line. Any much further and he wouldn’t have done it.”
In the following race House was once again collecting the silverware after Santanna Mach’s victory in the Otaki Cup Handicap Pace (3000m).
In his seventh season of racing, the evergreen pacer was having his 125th start and recorded his 15th win in superb fashion, leading throughout and distancing his rivals in the straight to win by 4-1/4 lengths over Where’s Daddy.
“He is a great old horse,” House said.
“He is one of those horses that can go a month without going in the cart and doesn’t need any fast work as such.
“We have been looking after his mental health and physical wellbeing by not travelling him too much.”
House also posted runner-up results on the six-race card with Juliette Shard and Major Collect.
“Juliette Shard is a work in progress, but she is very well bred, so we may give her a race and hopefully we can get her into the Matron’s paddock this summer,” he said.
“Major Collect was better on the second day and he will win a race, possibly at Hawera.”