Kelly’s patience rewarded with first win

By Jonny Turner

Being on her best behaviour helped Majestic Rose reward Kerry Kelly with her first training win at Gore on Saturday.

Kelly had racked up 11 placings before escaping a bleak day in North Otago to notch her previously elusive first victory.

The horsewoman admitted she was not jumping at the thought of making the trek from Hilderthorpe to Gore on Saturday, but her husband, Bruce, did a good job of selling the idea.

“I wasn’t keen on going at all, but my husband promised me sunshine – which we got for ten minutes – and a fine day,” Kelly said.

“We got that and a win on top.”

Majestic Rose’s victory came after the cantankerous trotter had tested Kelly’s patience and kept the trainer busy making gear adjustments to calm the trotter.

“You have to catch her in the right mood -  she can be a bit of a tart - she has a few tricks up her sleeve,” Kelly said.

“She used to rear up, so we had to put a rearing strap on her.”

“She doesn’t like noise at the start, so we had to put ear plugs on her and she doesn’t like horses behind her, so we had to put full blinds on her.”

“With all of these sorts of things, it has been trial and error to find what works.”

Kelly admitted there was a sense of relief when Majestic Rose held out Justan’s Sister by to score her maiden win a neck for driver Matthew Williamson.

“She had been knocking - it is a bit of a relief and it is about time.”

Majestic Rose is one of eight horses Kelly and her husband work at their North Otago stable.

The couple reintroduced themselves to harness racing two seasons ago, after a break of nearly 20 years.

“My husband retired is now, so we play around with the horses and we are having a great time,” Kelly said.

“Bruce loves going to the races.”

While their stable will still be busy and the Kellys will continue to go to the races, Majestic Rose won’t be going anywhere in the immediate future.

She will enjoy a spell after scoring her maiden on Saturday.  

“She deserves a holiday now - she has done her job and we are happy,” Kelly said.

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