Springbank Mason head big Wallis-Hackett team at Alexandra Park tonight
By Michael Guerin
Champion trainer of trotters Michelle Wallis says Springbank Mason is the best chance of the six she has starting in the main trot at Alexandra Park tonight but that assessment comes with a warning.
“We are the worst tipsters of our own horses,” laughs Wallis about the horses she trains with husband Bernie Hackett.
The couple almost always have the biggest hand in trotting races at Alexandra Park tonight but even for them six in the main trot of the night is an impressive display of horsepower.
The Wallis/Hackett barn have 25 in work and 23 are trotters, with Springbank Mason and race rivals tonight Kings Landing and All Cashed Up all coming out of the Rowe Cup last start.
Wallis says Springbank Mason was looming into the Rowe Cup to be a chance before he peaked on his run but with a 10m advantage over All Cashed Up (40m) tonight he is the stable’s top tip.
“But Bernie and I often joke how often we are wrong about our best chance when we have a few in the race.
“A lot of the times it comes down to luck, race tempo and of course with the trotters, manners.
“So a lot of things contribute to who wins and sometimes we just get it wrong but I suppose it doesn’t really matter, we are thrilled to win any race for our owners.”
Wallis says when she or Hackett drive it is usually a good pointer the trainers want to work a horse out or educate it so they will use drivers who are out there more often for their better chances, including their daughter Crystal.
But that doesn’t mean any family favouritism.
“We don’t like changing drivers if we don’t have to so try to keep them consistent.
“Of the six in the big trot on Thursday we have two who were driven by Todd (Mitchell) last start but it is a penalty-free win race for some of them so we have Crystal on Laurie’s Legacy and Taitlyn (Hanara) who works for us on King’s Landing.
“All Cashed Up is a very good speed horse but I am not sure he wants to be working too much off the 40m so we think Springbank Mason is our best chance, for what that is worth.”
Wallis says last-start stable winner Five O’Clock Gerry (R1, No.2) is a nice horse who hasn’t finished winning yet but she thought Virginia Clowers would be maybe a little more experienced and potentially too advanced after racing in the best three-year-old company lately.
They also have one of the favourites in the last race in Aldebaran Crystal (R10, No.7) and say she can win if her manners don’t let her down.
The Thursday night meeting has some nice depth, with The Big Lebowski (R8, No.7) returning to grade racing after starting in the Auckland Cup last start.