House gets a winner at every meeting
By Garrick Knight
Michael House’s remarkable season took another twist last week when he recorded a rather unlikely feat.
The West Melton horseman, who also has a base in Kumeu, near Auckland, trained winners at all four meetings in the country last week – a feat unlikely to have been achieved many times, if at all.
It started with Rake at Forbury Park on Thursday night, then continued on with Warloch at Addington and Delightful Major at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
Then Nanelle Franco rounded things off with an upset win over the mile at Ashburton, belying her $19.40 price with a 1.53.9 effort in the hands of John Morrison.
“She’s a bit of a one-trick pony and after she won at Forbury Park in a similar fashion that put her on a collision course with this race,” said House.
“Andrew Morris (HRNZ Handicapper) actually put me on to the race and when I thought about it, it was logical.
“So, I went back to my American training roots and drilled her up for it.
“She was ready, and after her last training run, I made some pretty big statements about her.”
Despite that, she was hardly supported by punters.
“No one listens to me; if Blair (Orange) isn’t driving them, they don’t back them.
“But Johnny had won on her last time and I wasn’t going to kick him off.”
It was Nanelle Franco’s third win for house after her owners gave her to him mid-season.
“As far as I know, the previous trainer had had enough of her so she came to me on a deal with Manawatu in mind.
“But she’s a square peg in a round hole now, especially in Canterbury.
“She’s bred to run and I think she’ll do a great job in America eventually.
“If it was a nice summer’s day, I have no doubts she would have run 1.52.”
The win took House to 96 winners for the season, miles beyond his previous best (57), but he doubts he has the stock to hit the magical century in the next fortnight.
“I’m not worried about it.
“If I put myself under pressure like that, I usually come unstuck.
“You’re talking to the guy who once saluted when he came second in a Group 1, so 96 is enough for me.”
He’ll get his chance though, with 10 runners in across four meetings this week and a few more expected next week.
“We should probably be on 100 already, but we got crushed by sickness in March and April.
“What pleases me most is that we won nine races from our Kumeu base, which is significant.”
Delightful Major won his third race in a short career when resuming in Auckland.
“Neil Munro did a great job topping him off for me.
“He’s a classy horse that has had a lot of practice and knows all about racing.
“He won his first two and then I made a mess of it by over-training him for his third start.
“I knew he was pretty right when I sent him up to Neil and once Zeuss Bromac was scratched, that really put us in the position to win.”
Financially, House’s best win of the week was Warloch at Addington, which he owns himself.
On top of the $5,300 winning stake, he also picked up the ‘Met Multipler’ bonus of $7,500.
“That meant a lot to me because it’s a significant hit of money; it will pay one of my mortgages next month.
“He’s a horse that was actually very good as a young horse but got a fractured hock which has limited him.
“He’s a tough wee bugger.”