Majestic Man retired - "He has done us proud"

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Majestic Man, a trotter that oozed class right from his very first start, has run his last race after winning 24 races and over $850,000 in stakes.

The Griffins Syndicate, who bred and raced the Majestic Son-Love Hate Revenge gelding, says the time has come for him to enjoy his retirement.

"He is by far the best horse we've had," says syndicate manager Mark Noonan, "he has done us proud."

"It's incredible when you think of those 105 starts he's had, 73 were in Group races and he was in the top three 43 times out of those 73."

Known as "George", he was named after the Prince and Princess of Wales' eldest child.

"We just thought as he was a Majestic Man that George was the right stable name for him."

A short course specialist with devastating gate speed, Majestic Man won races in this country from Auckland to Invercargill and was a multiple Group 1 winner across the Tasman.

Such was his speed that in 2022 he smashed the NZ record for a 2000m stand by over three seconds. His fastest winning mile in this country was 1:54.1 at Ashburton in 2020.

While he finished up with 24 wins and $855,545 in stakes, his trainer Phil Williamson says it could have been so much more.

“He ran so many placings behind Sundees Son, Winterfell, Muscle Mountain, Oscar Bonavena that he could have won well over $1million and then some,” says Williamson.

“He was a wonderful horse for us and his syndicate of owners."

Noonan meanwhile credits the wider Williamson family as the main reason for their star trotter's success.

"Phil, Bev and the rest of the Oamaru team have looked after and cared for George, and the careful way he’s been driven in his races, mainly by Brad."

With Brad in the bike (as he invariably was) Majestic Man hit a purple patch of form in Australia in 2021 when he won three Group 1s in six races, including the TAB VL Dullard Cup, bankrolling over $150,000 in the process.

He won the Dullard again last year, beating trotting's new hero Just Believe in the process.

For Noonan there are so many highlights, starting at the very beginning.

"That win at Forbury Park in his first start showed us he had something."

The then two-year-old galloped at the start on a rainy and murky Dunedin night in April 2017, and looked to have done his chips. But he gradually caught the field up before going on to beat out the pace-making Moniburns and Dexter Dunn by a nose.

"He's just mowing them down," the commentator said at the time.

His win in the 2YO Sires' Stakes Trot Champs at Addington in May 2017 was another standout.

"We had a huge crowd on track that night with about 40 people from the syndicate and their partners etc - it was a great night," says Noonan.

As was his 2020 Group 2 win in the Flying Mobile Mile at Cambridge.

"We beat Sundees Son and Bolt For Brilliance that night," says Noonan, "and he led all the way."

But at nine years old all things come to an end, with his last race being a fourth behind Muscle Mountain in the Group 1 Fred Shaw Memorial New Zealand Trotting Championship at Addington on March 30.

Now he's off to just outside Oamaru to join his old mate and fellow Griffins Syndicate horse, Monty Python.

He'll be heading there this Saturday.

"He is a great horse and a great character, " says Noonan, "we were very lucky to have him."

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