House bags five at Manawatu

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Michael House was once again at his dominant best at Manawatu Raceway on Tuesday, winning five of the eight race card.

“It was wonderful,” House said.

“I was very pleased for Sarah (O’Reilly, driver), she drove wonderful. They were key drives for her (winning with Petronelli Gee and Southern Storm).

“Blair (Orange, driver) did his normal brilliant stuff (winning with Sharp Lou and Superstar Legend). He was a little disappointed in a couple of his drives which should have gone a little better.

“I was pleased for Wilson (House, driver), he took advantage in one of those races (winning with Mosaic Art). He drove a lot of placegetters.”

House said he was particularly pleased with Petronelli Gee’s win in the Paul Claridge Electrical Handicap Trot (2500m).

“I labelled him on Facebook this afternoon,” House said. “By rights he is still a maiden. He was a maiden winning a penalty free race today, and it’s not done very often.

“He should still be a maiden on Thursday, so will be interesting to see how the handicapper deals with it.

“He improved a lot in a fortnight and he should back-up on Thursday.”

While House said it is always nice to get the results, it is the horses that don’t perform that play on his mind.

“As with other times, it’s not the ones that win, it’s the ones that don’t win that you worry about – what can change, whether it was the draw or the run of the race, or whether the horse was the problem.”

House said he has once again been plagued by issues of getting his horses across the Cook Strait.

“We have had travel difficulties, we have had them all season. It’s not easy,” he said.

“I am going to be pleased when it is over. I am sick of having to deal with the ferries. There are only going to be two ferries operating in April out of five.

“Training the horses with conviction and even not knowing you can get on the road has been difficult.”

With logistics issues still hampering his dual-Island operation, House said he will likely bring back his Morrinsville satellite stable until his son Wilson can hold the fort at Manawatu Raceway later this year.

“Wilson will be training at Palmerston North because he is going to Massey, but his first six months is online. He is coming home, he is not going to be there if he doesn’t have to be,” House said.

“Morrinsville could happen again on April 1, the day after the Manawatu meeting if the transportation issues are still a problem.”

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