Mako goes two from two with promise of more to come

By Michael Guerin

Mako emerged as a horse to follow during the northern winter with a powerhouse win at Alexandra Park on Thursday night.

Because the reality is the three-year-old isn’t going to need to improve much to win become a five-win horse.

The son of Downbytheseaside completed a rare double when he graduated from a Cambridge maiden to overcoming a second line draw to down a classy opponent in Hawkeye Pierce in the NZ Horse Ambulance Trust Mobile on Thursday.

In doing so he worked hard in the middle stages but was still able to pace the 2200m mobile in 2:39.4, the sort of time that will win you more races than you lose over the winter.

That is, of course, if trainer Arna Donnelly continues to press on with Mako, who is owned by her parents Brent and Sue.

“He is getting better all the time and developing into a really nice horse,” says driver David Butcher.

“That was a good win because the second horse is obviously pretty talented and that is a good time when you are working mid-race.”

The win was Butcher’s 25th of the season and he says he has Donnelly to thank for plenty of those.

“Arna is really helping me to keep the winners ticking over,” he says.

Mako was just one of the feelgood winners on an interesting night at The Park.

The fun started in the Mid-winter Christmas at Alex Park Book Now Mobile Pace for the amateur drivers when James Brownlee recorded his third win in 16 years of driving when Tugawar led throughout.

A popular figure in northern harness racing circles, Brownlee’s last two wins came in 2013, so his all the way victory with Tugawar, trained by his son Ival, brought plenty of smiles to people’s faces.

So too did the win of Stone Cold in the Kumeu Kidz Kartz Thanks All Their Sponsors Handicap Trot with the three-year-old trotter part-owned by Trackside presenter Nicole Sims, who found herself in the very rare position of having to talk about her first harness horse live on television after he won.

There was an impressive debut pacing win from Matai Phil for the Blanchards in the Garrards Horse and Hound Pukekohe Mobile Pace while Taylad To Use gave driver Todd MacFarlane his first winner for the season in the ATC Stewards Handicap Trot and Matty A confirmed his ability winning the Lone Star Alexandra Park Handicap Trot.




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