Super success for Superfast Stuart
by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
After more than 40 years in the business, Mid Canterbury trainer and breeder Michael Heenan's enjoying quite the purple patch of form.
A trainer since the mid 1980s, he had his best ever return with 11 wins in the elongated 2021 season, and he's already had five this year.
In the past few days there's also been a double triumph for his sire Superfast Stuart - and they both won at big odds.
DD's Super Stuart (Superfast Stuart - Castleton DD) paid $24.30 at Addington for trainer Jeremy Markham on Friday night and then the Heenan-trained MC Squared (Superfast Stuart - Tinted Light) broke through for her first win at start number 13 at Addington on Sunday. She paid $31.40.
"I was really pleased for the horse," says Heenan of MC Squared, "she's not naturally gifted but she digs in and she's a got wee bit better each time."
MC Squared began like a trooper and went straight to the lead in the Fahey Fence Hire Trot only to hand up to Antonov (Gavin Smith). She then peeled out from the trail and wore down the leader before going on to win by more than length.
"She's taken a bit of time but we were thrilled, as were the owners."
Two days earlier it was the turn of another progeny of Superfast Stuart in DD's Super Stuart. He went back-to-back for Carl Markham who again did the driving for son Jeremy. It was the fifth win overall for the seven-year-old gelding from 91 starts.
"It's great for the Markhams, they are good friends of ours - they've done a good job".
"And it's great when hobby trainers and good owners are getting success, that's very pleasing."
After winning 15 races in North America Superfast Stuart headed to Heenan's Trouble Lodge Stud about seven years ago. What attracted Heenan to the stallion was that the fact he was a son of Kadabra, one of the all-time great trotting stallions and a Canadian Hall of Famer. Kadabra won 25 of 36 and more than $2m on the track and his progeny have earned more than $100m.
With a service fee of $1500, Superfast Stuart serves on average 20 mares a year.
Heenan rates Monaro Maro (Superfast Stuart - Monaro Miss) as the best of the Superfast Stuart stock. She's won 18 from 70 with earnings of around $200,000. Other top performers include Call Me Trouble (10 wins), Tweedledee (8 wins), Martha Stuart (4 wins), Wee Man Trouble (13 wins), and Super Fast Pat (9 wins).
"The progeny do take time.. they are not just going out and winning as two and three year olds."
Based at Highbank - "it's a place where stock do well" - Heenan has more than a dozen in work at the moment, and that, along with running the stud and breaking in yearlings keeps him more than busy.
He's also a long-standing committee member of the Methven Trotting Club, alongside the likes of current president Carl Markham.
"At the moment I'm a very reluctant vice-president," he quipped.