The House wins at Manawatu - five times!
By Dave Di Somma, Harness News desk
Going into yesterday's Manawatu meeting Wilson House thought he was a good show of winning at least a couple of races. He ended up driving a career high five winners and was a nose away from the perfect six wins from six drives.
"It was fantastic," House says, "I thought maybe I'd get two so I was very happy, and all the team performed so well."
In what was his best day in three seasons of driving all of House's horses were trained by his father Michael House.
The 19-year-old is on a remarkable run. Twice in November he had a treble at Palmerston North and his haul yesterday takes him to 33 wins in 2023, making him fifth equal overall in the junior drivers' premiership.
His five-win haul was reminiscent of the days when the so-called Michael House - Blair Orange "juggernaut" used to venture north from Canterbury and dominate the card.
But Wilson House wasn't buying into any talk about him being "the new Blair".
"No I'm not," was House's reply, "Blair's a freak of a driver, one of the best there's ever been."
His five winners were :
Boyz Invasion in Race 2 - The Hilltop Bar and Restaurant Handicap Trot
Sweet Spirit in Race 3 - The ITM Mobile Pace
Superstar Legend in Race 6 - The Royden Williams Trophy Mobile pace
Johnny Mac in Race 7 - The Cobb Mobile Pace
Ann Ofathousand Bays in Race 8 - Racing Again Thursday 14th Mobile pace
Boyz Invasion's win was his fifth in a row, with Wilson getting the in-form nine-year-old to the front and just proving too strong for his rivals.
Some of his other drives were more tactical.
Sweet Spirit, for instance, was in the trail only for House to make the decision midrace to go round the pace-making Sharkntatties. It proved a masterstroke as he cleared out to win by nearly four lengths.
And in the last, Ann Ofathousand Bays had a potentially tricky draw of one on the second line over 2000 metres. But it didn't prove an issue with House three back the fence before making his move late in the piece.
"Dad thought he was the best off his training and it panned out well, with gaps appearing late."
The only one of House's not to win was Santanna Mach, and he was only a nose away from a perfect six from six.
Getting the perfect run in the passing lane Santanna Mach looked every chance, only to be beaten by a fast-finishing Millies Sensation out wide for Benjamin Butcher and trainer Mike Berger.
"There was nothing in it," says House , "I didn't know whether I'd won it or not."
The Cambridge-based Berger had a double for the meeting, with his second win appropriately coming in the Happy 70th Birthday Mike Berger Mobile Pace when Lady La Salle justified her strong support.
But it was a close run thing with the Sweet Lou four-year-old just getting up by a nose from Ticking Over.
Manawatu will be back in action tomorrow night, with the House-House team again the one to follow, with six starters at this stage.
To see the Manawatu fields for Thursday click here