Majestic Man explodes back to his best
By Jonny Turner
Majestic Man served up a big reminder of his status as a proven short course star when leaving his rivals in his wake in the Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile on Monday.
At a time when the country’s crop of star four-year-olds are dominating the conversation ahead of the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All, the Phil Williamson trained six-year-old gave harness racing fans a quick refresher on his class when bolting in in the 1609m feature by a massive four and a half lengths.
Majestic Man looked in the zone as soon as he arrived at Ashburton on Monday.
And he had a look in his eye that even allowed his veteran trainer to get a little bit excited ahead of the Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile.
“I was actually getting half excited because I was thinking he is going to go a real race today,” Phil Williamson said.
“And if he can’t do it there will be no excuses.”
“I went in thinking he is really good today, some days you get that feeling – that the horse is really well.”
“He settled really well in his box, sometimes he can get a bit excited.”
“He was pretty calm and his work was super during the week and I was looking forward to the race.”
With Majestic Man clearly fit and in the zone, there will be no need for Williamson to step the trotter out again before the New Zealand Cup Carnival.
“There is no chance he will go to Kaikoura and he won’t be going to the cup trials.”
“We don’t need to be leaving home any more.”
One of the stars among the country’s much talked about crop of four-year-olds is the reason why the hot seat behind Majestic Man is about to be up for grabs leading into his group 1 assignment in the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All.
Driver Brad Williamson confirmed his stable star Cracker Hill has progressed well following his game second to Bolt For Brilliance in last week’s Sires Stakes Championship at Alexandra Park and he is on track to line up in the New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All.
Cracker Hill needs to move up just one place in the race’s rankings to gain a start in the New Zealand Cup Week feature.
If he does Brad Williamson will drive Cracker Hill, leaving the seat behind arguably the country’s best short course trotter up for grabs.
That will leave Phil Williamson searching for a driver for Majestic Man – a task he is hardly stressing over.
“I think I have bred enough drivers that finding one won’t be a problem,” the trainer quipped.
Matthew Williamson is first in for the sought after steer.
The pair combined at Addington ten days ago when Majestic was beaten by Muscle Mountain when favourite after getting fired up by a false start
Though hardly a poor performance, Majestic Man’s fifth saw him out of the top three placings for the first time in his last fourteen starts in New Zealand.
Monday’s win provided relief for his camp, who could quickly move on from the surprise defeat and focus on the New Zealand Cup Carnival.
“The false start last time wasn’t ideal, especially when you are drawn beside the one that is crashing into the gate,” Williamson said.
“But, that is just racing and we used that as our excuse.”
Heavyweight Hero headed the pack that chased in vain down the Ashburton straight on Monday.
The Bob Butt trained seven-year-old ran on well from three back on the markers to finish second.
One Apollo closed well from midfield to take third.
The South Island continued to be an unhappy hunting ground for Temporale.
The Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett trained eight-year-old missed a top three placing in his sixth attempt in Canterbury after receiving a good run in the trail throughout.