Harness Briefs - 18 Sep

By Garrick Knight

Wainui Creek joins Purdon

Barry Purdon will roll out his stable’s newest acquisition at the Pukekohe workouts this coming Saturday.

And it’s an adversary of his existing stable star, Belle Of Montana.

Wainui Creek, twice Group 1 placed in three-year-old fillies’ features last season for Canterbury trainer Richard Aubrey, is now in the north’s most revered stable.

“She’s been working great; a pretty decent mare,” said stable foreman Scott Phelan, deputising while Purdon is on holiday in Japan.

“We’ll take her to the workouts this Saturday and map out a plan from there.”

Also stepping out this weekend will be Purdon’s sole New Zealand Cup hope, Mach Shard.

He hasn’t been in public since running third behind Spankem and Turn It Up in both the Taylor Mile and New Zealand Messenger back in April.

On The Cards, who raced through until the Harness Jewels in June and won’t be going to the New Zealand Cup, has just started fast work, as has Belle Of Montana.

“She looks amazing,” Phelan said of the latter.

“She’s come back from her spell in great order. She’s been hoppling a couple of weeks now and is probably a month away from trialing.”

Classy trotter retired

Group 3 winner Majestic Ali has been retired to stud.

Co-trainer Michelle Wallis confirmed the move, saying the now eight-year-old mare could no longer be placed to advantage.

“She was a lovely mare, who would probably still be racing if there were mares’ trots.

“But the handicapping is too hard on her now.”

Majestic Ali, who will be served by Muscle Mass shortly, won eight races and over $117,000, her feature win coming in the 2018 $30,000 Northern Breeders Stakes.

Dominion winner returns

Last season’s Dominion Trot winner, Marcoola, reappeared in public at the Ashburton workouts on Tuesday.

In the hands of part-owner Clint Ford he defeated three inferior opponents off a 30-metre handicap to win by four lengths.

According to Ford, the horse’s fitness is very advanced due to a long preparation.

“We gave him a month off after the Rowe Cup and he came back in to work just after the Jewels.

“He’s had plenty of work and could easily have raced by now if we wanted.”

But it’s the Canterbury Park on October 4 that will be his likely starting point before a trip north.

“We could look at Kaikoura with him.

“Given the Ford family hails from Kaikoura, the South Bay Trotters Cup is a race I’ve always wanted to win.”

A defense of his Dominion crown and a tilt at the Inter Dominions in Auckland are foremost in Ford’s thinking.

“But it will be a big test. The good trotting races are really stacking up at present.

“It’s great for the public and the punters - no doubt there will be plenty of great racing this season.

“I can’t wait to be a part of it.” 

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