Crystal's "awesome" win in Waikato Trotting Breeders' Stakes

By Brigette Solomon

Junior driver Crystal Hackett scored her first Group win with Faith In Manchester's emphatic victory in yesterday's Group 3 Dunstan Horse Feeds Waikato Trotting Breeders' Stakes at Cambridge Raceway.

“I was pretty excited to finally get a group win,” says Hackett, “I placed second in a Group 1, 2 and 3 race last season so this year I made it my goal to get a Group win and to tick it off in January is awesome!”

Faith In Manchester stepped away smoothly from her front line draw with Hackett settling the mare in the trail behind leader Kiss And Run. With no mid race moves from the rest of the field the mare remained in the trail throughout, and when stable mate Melsadele moved to sit outside the leader from the 400 metre mark, Hackett elected to wait for the passing lane. Faith In Manchester then had too much speed for her rivals to win by 1.75 lengths.

“She’s a great starter with good manners and Kiss And Run was a horse I was happy to follow,” says Hackett, “I pulled the blinds in the last half and she really got travelling and I was pretty pleased to see the passing lane when I saw Melsadele head Kiss And Run turning for home!”

“I was confident she’d have the speed to get past them once I made it to the lane.”

The five-year-old mare is trained by Hackett’s parents, Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett, who also trained the second placed Melsadele - the quinella coming from the only two horses they lined up at the Anniversary day meeting.

“It was pretty special to have my first Group winner on one of Mum and Dad’s horses, they were both pretty proud.”

The Wallis and Hackett partnership are no strangers to training Group winners, and Wallis has also had a Group 3 success as a driver winning the Northern Trotting Breeders Stakes with Princess Mackendon in 2017.

“Faith In Manchester will head to the Northern Trotting Breeders Stakes at Alexandra Park on the 16th,” says Hackett, “it’s actually a race her mother, Manchester Lass, won in 2011.”

The win was Faith In Manchester’s first Group race success and seventh overall, bringing her total stakes to just over $110,000.

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