Majestic Man to resume at Gore
By Jonny Turner
Oamaru trainer Phil Williamson has plotted a path from Gore to the glory of the Interdominions at Alexandra Park for Otago horse of the year Majestic Man.
The 5yr-old will begin his first full season as an open-class horse in a relatively minor race at the Eastern Southland track on Saturday.
The race will serve as a starting point for Majestic Man as he works towards the Interdominions, his main aim for the season.
Returning to Alexandra Park to race right-handed, under mobile conditions, makes the series a perfect fit for the Rowe Cup placegetter.
''Our main goal for the year is to get through to the Interdominions,'' Williamson said.
''It's well proven that he's well suited to the Auckland way around and I just think it's a series that he'll be suited to. And he's got plenty of gate speed - or enough to be competitive with those top horses.''
Majestic Man will step back into the top classes when he heads to the Ashburton Trotters Flying Mile on Labour Day.
From there, Williamson will formulate a plan for the horse through to the New Zealand Cup Carnival.
''We will just go race by race and see how happy we are with him.''
Majestic Man had a quiet hitout at the Oamaru trials yesterday, running third behind Playboy's Brother and pacer Spirit Of St Louis.
Though the horse will not be at his absolute peak for Saturday's race, Majestic Man will be forward enough to be highly competitive.
''It would be disappointing if he didn't give it a bit of a nudge,'' Williamson said.
''He has had a couple of trials underneath him and I think he will run well. It did take him a couple of runs [to get fit] at the beginning of last season, so I wouldn't say he is a line-up-and-win job, but I'm sure he will go a nice race.''
Majestic Man will start alongside stablemate Monty Python from the back mark of 40m in Saturday's 2700m handicap.
The 10yr-old showed the first glimpse of form of his new campaign when second behind Robbie Royale at Northern Southland last weekend.
Monty Python had little chance in his previous two runs when getting back in a sprint home at Oamaru behind Oscar Bonavena and getting left parked in the Banks Peninsula Trotting Cup.
''He is an old fellow, but he doesn't show his age,'' Williamson said.
''He's racing really well. We haven't had a lot of luck with him this time in. He just needs the right run in a good race, if we can get in to it.''
The country's trotting ranks got a boost yesterday when Monbet won by five lengths at the Rangiora workouts.
The Greg and Nina Hope-trained trotter's career hung in the balance after two poor efforts following his return from a long injury battle.
Monbet won his 2600m event in the moderate time of 3.22.8.
The heat featured another trotter who has been out of action through injury in Luby Lou.