Satisfying Winter Cup win for Fletcher

NZ HARNESS NEWS

One of Canterbury’s most consistent performers got a deserved win in the $14,000 Rangiora Winter Cup on Sunday.

Mikey Maguire, in the hands of Colin DeFilippi, finished over the top of a handy field to get the chocolates, benefitting from a strong early tempo and mid-race pressure.

For his 79-year-old trainer and co-owner Fred Fletcher, it was a nice boost before he heads in for surgery on Monday.

“I’m going in for an operation tomorrow, so it was nice to earn the money to pay for it today,” he quipped.

“I’m proud of the horse because he races out of his grade most weeks and is often up against open class horses despite only having won three races before today.

“The handicapping system doesn’t help him at all and I can see now why we are starting to lose a lot of horses to Australia from that middle grade.”

Fletcher has received many overtures for the sizeable son of Mach Three, but has resisted them to this point.

“I’ve turned down a lot of offers for him from Aussie because I always believed with time he would be a pretty nice horse.

“He’s a tough sort of horse and a pretty good staying big fella.

“I think he could go on and do a bit of a job next season.”

Fletcher’s reward for his refusal to sell has been over $38,000 in earnings this season alone and another $7,500 soon to be added for the Met Multiplier.

“I’m tossing up whether to line him up at Addington this week and the next, or whether I turn him out for a fortnight and bring him back up for the spring.”

Fletcher liked him so much as a young horse he went back to the yearling sales the next year and purchased Mikey Maguire’s sister, Luminite, who is rising four.

“I think she’ll be alright; she qualified six weeks ago at Ashburton and looks like she will do a job.”

Fletcher is working five and is excited by four rising two-year-old trotters by his former good trotter Royal Aspirations.

“I’m too old for big teams now, but I’m glad to have them coming through.

“I’ve been rapt with how they broke in and if at least two of them don’t make it, I’m a bad judge.

“I just hope I’m round to see them race.”

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