Majestic Man gets perfect draw for ID final

By Adam Hamilton

Majestic Man’s Inter Dominion resurrection continues to build.

The star Kiwi trotter’s series looked in tatters after an inglorious display in the second round of heat, but an encouraging third round run and now ideal barrier draw for the finals has given strength to his growing heartbeat.

Majestic Man will start from gate two in the 3009m final on Saturday night at Menangle, giving co-trainer and driver Anthony Butt some lovely options.

“He’ll lead for sure, then it’s a matter of whether we stay in front or take a sit on one of the good ones, which is probably his best hope of winning over the longer trip,” Butt said. “The draw is a huge help.

“In some ways it’ll be up to him whether I keep the front or not. He can get a bit keen in front and I wouldn’t have to really fight him to take a trail. Hopefully he relaxes and that’s an option for me.

“Sonya (Smith, co-trainer) and I were really happy with his run after driving him really conservatively at Newcastle and he’s been really well since. Despite the hiccup at Bathurst, he’s come through the heats better than we actually thought he might.

“It’s nice to have a bit of a bigger gap to the final, it can only help him.

“It’s hard to say how close we can get him to his best for the final, but the signs are good. He’s heading in the right direction.”

The other winners from the draw were Richard and Emmett Brosnan’s rejuvenated veteran Maori Law (gate six) and ageing star Tough Monarch (four), who would need to improve a lot of his form through the heats.

The two revelations of the series, The Penny Drops (12) and Timothy Red (14), face harder tasks from back row draws.

Glamour mare Pink Galahs landed a bit of “nothing” draw from gate seven . She will move into six if first emergency Aldebaran Crescent doesn’t get a run from barrier two.

Trainer-driver Matty Craven will be desperate to get Pink Galahs some cover to save her for her trademark brilliant finish in contrast to the three heats where she’s had to sit parked without cover.

Stablemate Lotamuscle, to be driven by Sofia Arvidsson, landed quite well in gate 10, meaning he will follow out Majestic Man.

In a lovely touch, trainer Tony Peacock confirmed veteran champion driver Brian Gath would take the reins on Illawong Stardust from gate nine (inside the back row).

The 76-year-old Gath will drive in his 13th Inter Dominion final, but his first since finishing eighth on Safari behind Blacks A Fake at Moonee Valley in 2008.

He trained and drove the brilliant Markovina to win the 1978 pacing final at Moonee Valley and finished second with: Franco Tiger (1992) and Shakamaker (2002).


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