Majestic Man - the short course King

By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk

The running of the Group 3 Worthy Queen Handicap Trot (2000m) on Cup Day posed more questions than answers ahead of the Group 1 Dominion Trot (3200m) on Friday, but Majestic Man stamped his mark as the short course king with his triumph.

While Mataderos and Bolt For Brilliance were the favoured runners heading into the race, the former broke in the opening stages of the race costing himself all chance, while the latter was stuck four-back on the pegs before circling the field and then fading for fifth.

Driver Brad Williamson gave Majestic Man a quiet trip at the rear of the field before producing him out wide late where he ran over the top of his rivals to win by a neck over Oscar Bonavena.

“He stepped really well,” Williamson said. “There was a little bit going on into the first bend, we just had to go around a couple and he got checked a little bit.

“He was far back enough in the run, but he let down with such a good sprint in the last 500m that he was good enough to get over the top of them.

“I think especially older in age, he is better with a sit, that was the aim today and thankfully it paid off.”

While the Phil Williamson-trained seven-year-old was runner-up in the Gr.3 Ashburton Flying Stakes (1700m) last start, the Oamaru horseman believes punters discounted his charge in Tuesday’s stand after his misdemeanor two starts back when breaking at the start of the Gr.3 Canterbury Park Trotting Cup (2600m).

As a result, he drifted to $10 with TAB bookmakers, which Williamson believes was great value for the sprinting specialist.

“The short distance was ideal for him,” Phil Williamson said. “They (punters) let him go today because he reared up last start (at Addington) and took no part, but they really shouldn’t have because over short distances his record is second to none and he proved that again today.”

Majestic Man has been a key pillar in Williamson’s barn for several years, and he was over the moon to get the winning result on New Zealand harness racing’s biggest stage.

“It is a big thrill,” he said. “He has been a wonderful horse since he was two when he won the Sires’ Stakes Final here.

“He has raced pretty well throughout his entire career. I think that is his 22nd win. He is a wonderful horse who has won nearly $700,000, and you don’t do that unless you are pretty good.”

Majestic Man will now head to the Dominion on Friday, and while Williamson said the gelding is superior over shorter trips, he was runner-up in the race to Sundees Son two years ago, and he is looking forward to meeting the star trotter once more.

“If the Dominion was run over 2000m he would be a lot shorter than what he will go around on Friday, it’s just the extra lap he is not that keen on,” Williamson said.

“Because he is so fast, it is like asking a sprinter to run a marathon – they are just different beasts, and he is a speed horse.

“We know he is going well it is just the extra distance and the two horses that aren’t there – Muscle Mountain and Sundees Son. They are two phenomenal horses.

“Sundees Son is every bit a champion. He has nothing more to prove to me that he is a champion, he has won about 11 Group Ones, and I have been second to him a heap of times.

“Just racing against him has been a great thrill.”

 

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