House issues stern caution ahead of Day two

By Garrick Knight

Punters planning to load up on Blair Orange and Michael House at Manawatu Raceway today should be very wary about spending this week’s pay cheques.

That’s the message from House as he grapples with a “horror show” of draws on the second of two days in Palmerston North.

The stable has 19 horses across nine races and has managed to come up with the inside of the second row five times and only one – Jessie Kelly – has drawn inside gate three.

Add to that that many of the team were disappointing on Tuesday and House was rather downcast when spoken to by HRNZ between meetings.

“This could go down as the poorest two-day Palmy meeting of all-time for us,” he said, referencing just the two wins on Tuesday.

“It’s actually unbelievable the draws we have come up with. We’re pretty much rooted.”

“You just can’t get the draws we’ve gotten and expect to get results.”

Having Orange in the cart will help but, as he found out on Tuesday, having aggressive drivers the likes of Brent Mangos, David Butcher and Sailesh Abernethy there means he can’t lead and control races as he usually does at the track.

An attempt to go through the team with House was met with lament, most horses written off thanks to poor efforts on day 1, poor draws today, or a combination of both.

The one horse House conceded “should win” was Den’s Legacy, who will go around as a $1.40 favourite in race six.

“He should have won on Tuesday but didn’t.

“At least he has a draw to work with and it’s not a strong field. Probably our best hope.”

Mekong Princess is off 50 metres in the trot and will struggle, he reckoned, while Voodoo Prince “was terrible in third” on Tuesday and Burst Out Laughing stopped sharply “and I don’t know why”.

Masada “should have won with the run it had” as should second-placed Magic Blaze though “he’s won one from 50 for a reason”.

Rake and Play Ball were tidy winners on Tuesday but have both drawn the inside of the second row on Thursday which should spell the end of their chances, reckoned House.

Jessie Kelly is drawn two it was questionable whether she could run out a strong 2500 metres, her trainer felt.

Martin McGuiness, who dropped out from a soft trip on Tuesday, would not be returned to Canterbury after today.

“I’ve rung 10 people to give him away today and no one wants him.”

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