National record to Monaro Mia in Waikato Oaks
NZ HARNESS NEWS
New Cambridge resident Monaro Mia ran a national record on her adopted home track when taking out the inaugural $15,000 Waikato Trotting Oaks on Thursday night.
Her 2.45.6 effort for the 2200-metre mobile trip shaved 0.1 of a second off the record set by Donegal Bettorgretch at Alexandra Park in May of 2016.
For the tough daughter of Imperial Count it was a second trotting oaks in the space of six days after she won the $30,000 Northern version in Auckland last Friday night.
Trainer Nicky Chilcott was sent Monaro Mia at the start of April after her previous trainer, Blenheim’s Graham Neill, abruptly retired from training.
She’s more than pleased to have been the benefactor of his decision, however.
“I’m over the moon with her; she’s over-performed on what I expected when she arrived.”
Before Monaro Mia’s debut from Chilcott’s stable a fortnight ago, the Cambridge horsewoman made it clear she was less than impressed with the filly’s training.
“But you live in hope. I’ve had plenty of bad trackworkers in the past that step up on race day and she is one of them.”
Chilcott noted that Monaro Mia had come through the record run well as of Friday afternoon.
“She’s not a bouncy horse, she just stands by the rail.
“The best guide is her feed bowl and she licked it clean at lunchtime.”
Sailesh Abernethy continued his good association with the progressive filly, last night’s win being their fifth as a combination this season.
“She’s an honest enough filly, that’s for sure,” said the modest and media-shy Papakura horseman.
It’s all systems go for the $125,000 Group 1 3YO Ruby on her new home track in a fortnight’s time.
She will have to take on the boys in that race, meaning a battle with the likes of pre-post favourite Winterfell ($1.80) and Majestic Man ($4.50).
Monaro Mia is currently a $16 fifth favourite for the Ruby and Chilcott is hoping she can over-perform again and perhaps sneak a Group 1 placing.
“I’m realistic enough to know she can’t beat Winterfell on merit.
“But we are pretty quiet here at the present so I will be able to give both her and Juice Brogden my undivided attention over the next fortnight to try and have them perfect for Jewels day.
It was a memorable night for Abernethy, who also drove outsider The Hulk to upset in the night’s main trot, defying his more seasoned opponents to win at odds of $38 for trainer Adrienne Matthews.
- NZ Harness News