Minjee hits ace on debut
By Michael Guerin
The over achievers of the northern juvenile pacing scene were at it again when Minjee made a winning debut at Cambridge on Friday night.
While Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan as the undoubted kings of training juvenile winners in the north these days it is increasingly hard to ignore the record Logan Hollis and Shane Robertson are building with their babies.
Backed from an opening quote of $9 to $4, Minjee was punched off the gate hard by Peter Ferguson before he let Obadiah Dragon go to the lead but Minjee went straight past the colt at the top of the straight to win by three-and-a-quarter lengths in a 1:57.8 mile rate for the 1700m mobile.
By producing Minjee, who is named after Australian female golfer Minjee Lee, to win the stable continued their remarkable run with juvenile pacers over the last 15 months.
In fact, five of the last six individual winners they have trained have been juvenile winners: Minjee joined by Christopher Dance, Hawkeye Pierce, Two Eye See and On Deadline.
That is an superb record for a stable that only has 12 or 13 horses in work and especially because Hollis and Robertson rarely get expensive yearlings to train as two-year-olds.
“But it comes with a downside that those good two-year-olds attract a lot ot buyer attention and often we or the owners end up selling them,” says Hollis.
“That is an important part of the business but of course if you always sell all your good horses you only end up training what is left over.
“But this year we have some owners who want to race their horses so Hawkeye Pierce’s owners want him to stay and the same with Christopher Dance, who we really rate.
“And hopefully this filly’s owners will too because that was a good win tonight considering she is still learning.”
Minjee ended up in the Hollis/Roberson team when her former trainer James Stormont moved south and as fast as she looked up the passing lane on Friday night Hollis says long-term she could be an Oaks filly.
“She is a Bettors and she keeps going so lets hope that is the case.”
The win was part of a driving treble for Ferguson as he also reined Wicked Wanda to a stunning win later in the night and drove Brookies Jaffa to win the main pace for another of the north’s over-achieving stables in Jason Teaz.
Teaz also doesn’t get the most expensive bloodstock to work with but trained another double in Friday night, winning the first race with Ultimate Moment.
The latter gave driver Sailesh Abernethy his 300th career win and the training double took Teaz to six wins for the season but that count only really started when Teaz started training on his own account over the winter so his six wins have come from just 30 starters.
Remarkably it was the second time Ultimate Moment and Brookies Jaffa have given Teaz a training double, having also achieved it at Alexandra Park on August 3.