Local trainer welcomes racing’s return to Methven

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

Local trainer Michael Heenan is welcoming the return of racing to Methven on Sunday where he will have a handful of runners on the grass track.

“We are over the moon to be back racing at Methven,” Heenan said.

“All the guys have been out this week working hard, and the builders have just about finished the new roof on the grandstand.

“The track is in great order. We had trials here last Saturday and I think it put everyone in a good mood to go somewhere different.

“Addington is the pinnacle, but for country people it is home. Methven is my club and I try to support them as much as I can. Most of my horses are owned by people around here too and they always like to see them race around here if we can.”

Trouble Supreme will be one of Heenan’s flagbearers this weekend. He has placed in five of his last six races and Heenan is hoping the Prodigal Seelster gelding can break through for an elusive victory in the South Island Seeds Mobile Pace (2300m).

“Trouble Supreme is a nice, honest horse. He is due to get a nice run and when he does I think he will be ready to win a race,” Heenan said.

“He has drawn a bit wide (8) but Johnny (Morrison, driver) is good at getting him in, so hopefully it will all work out.”

Majestic Whisper is another Heenan is hoping can break through for a win in the Methven Seed Cleaning Trot (2400m).

The seven-year-old mare finished runner-up at Kurow last month and Heenan said he has varied up her work since then.

“Majestic Whisper is the best one I have got,” he said. “She is a good mare but she is a bit limited in the manners department. I have been much happier with her last three starts.

“We have changed around a lot of things with her just to try and keep her happy.

“I am very hopeful if she begins well and is within six or seven lengths of the leader when turning in that we could get a result with her.”

Of his other runners, Heenan believes Sister’s Delight is his best chance in the Hanley Formula Mobile Pace (2300m).

“Sister’s Delight tries her guts out and she has got a draw (1) that will really suit her. Of them all, she is the one that goes a fraction better on the grass,” he said.

Meanwhile, Heenan has welcomed Harness Racing New Zealand’s breeding incentive announced earlier this week, whereby the governing body will contribute $1,000 to the service fee for every covering this season.

Heenan stands Superfast Stuart at stud and said the incentive will not only help his numbers, but it has allowed him to breed from a number of mares that would have otherwise stayed empty this year.

“I know they have worked really hard and I take my hat off to them,” Heenan said.

“It will work to the extent that we will get more numbers and it is welcome news for someone like me with a stallion and a few mares.

“A horse like him (Superfast Stuart) that could help him a bit. He served 15 mares last year and we have already had a few bookings. I think he will get a few more than last year.

“We had seven or eight mares that we wouldn’t have served this year, but we will probably serve four or five of them now.

“If they don’t end up staying here they will obviously go into the system, and that is what we need to do.”

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