Full house for Fleming at Manawatu

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Hawera trainer Willie Fleming is looking forward to heading to Manawatu Raceway on Sunday after spending an enjoyable week competing in the Workingmen’s Club Nationals at Wanganui.

While he wasn’t able to secure top honours on the bowling green, he is hoping to change his luck in Palmerston North where he will line-up his racing team of two.

Run Mason Run will back-up in the Enjoy Retirement John Doody Mobile Pace (2000m) after running fourth on Thursday, while Rory McIlroy will be having his first run of the week in the Wenham Seeds Mobile Pace (2000m).

“I was away playing bowls, so I could only send one horse down with Brendan Towers. Plan A was to have one in on each day,” Fleming said.

However, with the postponement of Tuesday’s meeting as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle, another meeting was scheduled for Sunday, allowing Fleming to give both horses a run.

Rory McIlroy has made a pleasing recovery from his run at Cambridge Raceway two starts back where he was pulled up after suffering heat stress and has subsequently posted a runner-up result at Hawera earlier this month.

The son of Grinfromeartoear has drawn barrier two on Sunday and Fleming is hoping driver Benjamin Butcher can give him an economical trip from that draw.

“I was holding my breath a bit after he was pulled up at Cambridge. But that was all put down to heat stress, I couldn’t find any other reason for it,” Fleming said.

“He has bounced through it well and went well at Hawera last start where he ran second.

“He has drawn well in two. He just needs to be handy in the running. He is past his best, but we probably never really saw his best.”

Stablemate Run Mason Run has also drawn handy in two and Fleming said he should appreciate the better track conditions on Sunday.

“He is as bright as a button. The slushy conditions down there perhaps didn’t suit him quite as much on Thursday,” Fleming said.

“That Raging Whitebait of Doug’s (Gale, trainer) has been going quite well, but I am happy with my fella, and he has a nice draw.”


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