Majestic Man's fourth quest for Great Southern Star
By Adam Hamilton
Will it be fourth time lucky for veteran Kiwi star Majestic Man in tonight’s Great Southern Star at Melton?
It hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Phil Williamson’s gelding in the past, but despite now being an eight-year-old, this really looks his chance to win Australasia’s biggest trotting race.
Majestic Man first tackled the Great Southern Star when it was just a one-off race, but galloped and ran last in 2020.
He returned the next year when the format returned to a heat and final on the same night, finishing second in his heat then third to local champ Tornado Valley in the final.
Last year, when he was battling issues, Majestic Man finished ninth in his heat and didn’t make the final.
But there was so much to like about his dominant win in the $50,000 Dullard Cup last Saturday, it’s hard to think he’s not the one to beat tonight.
Majestic Man really burned off the gate last week and posted a lead time quicker than many pacing races.
Driver Brad Williamson was able to steady him through the middle stages, but he looked vulnerable to Australia’s two top trotters Just Believe and Queen Elida.
Despite that, Majestic Man zipped home in 57.6 and 28.7sec to easily fend-off that pair and win with a real stamp of dominance.
You could argue it’s as good as he’s ever gone in Australia despite being in the twilight of his career.
That gate speed of his will be vital again in the second and strongest of the two GSS heats.
Majestic Man has gate two, but is sandwiched between two fast beginners in Mufasa Metro (one) and Majestuoso (three).
That pair look his major dangers, but such is the depth in the second heat you always have to respect Im Ready Jet (four), NSW visitor Caligula (five), Aldebaran Zeus (seven) and even the emerging Locksley Lover (nine).
Majestic Man is a clear $2.30 favourite from Majestuoso ($4.40), Im Ready Jet ($7) and Mufasa Metro ($8.50).
The first heat is headlined by the clash of the star Aussie pair who chased home Majestic Man last week in Queen Elida ($2, gate six) and Inter Dominion winner Just Believe ($2.80, five).
The other key runner is talented but raw former Kiwi trotter Chinese Whisper, who steps up in grade and may not be suited by gate one. He’s been backed from $12 into $6.
The heats of the Great Southern Star are at 9.03pm and 9.33pm (NZ time) with the top eight qualifiers making the final scheduled for 12.05am tonight.