Timely boosts for Ken Barron
By Frank Marrion courtesy of the Harness Xpress
Many would have noticed Ken Barron literally hobbling around in recent months.
This is the legacy of a smash at the Ashburton workouts back in 2002 which led to a hip replacement a few years later.
Then last year Barron was trampled by a young horse and “the bone broke away from the rod inside the leg”.
“I can still drive the horses okay and I was driving at the races until recently - it’s just the walking around that’s a problem, and that’s a pretty big one,” said Barron.
Barron had horses engaged at Addington and Motukarara last weekend and wasn’t present at either meeting due to “feeling pretty sore”.
It was thus a rather timely boost when Majestic Hurricane regained winning form at Addington, ending a drought which stretches back to winning twice in a week at Addington early last year.
But a bigger boost came recently when Barron learned he was finally getting the operation he needs, which happened in Christchurch on Wednesday.
“You just have to wait in a queue with no date or end in sight and hope there’s a cancellation or something.”
Barron will be out of action for 6-8 weeks while he recuperates, but he’s obviously really looking forward to being able to freely move around without the pain.
Majestic Hurricane hasn’t been completely out of form in the past year, managing the odd placing, such as a distant but credible third at the Jewels behind Sundees Son and Winterfell and ahead of Majestic Man.
But a combination of issues has kept him from being seen in his best light for quite a while.
“His biggest problem is of course getting fired up and over racing.
“You can manage that with gear, but he doesn’t like that (the gear) and doesn’t run at all.
“Then when you have a tactical race where they go slow and sprint for home, he’ll get to pulling.
“He’s also had quarter cracks and the virus – there’s just been a whole heap of things one after the other.”
Being on the unruly mark for mobiles hasn’t helped either, and when the right race has come along, racing luck has gone against Majestic Hurricane.
All of which had contributed to the immensely talented and speedy Majestic Son gelding going winless for 18 races over 13 months.
Things finally fell into place last week though.
Majestic Hurricane has always been able to begin very quickly from stands and while the start was rather messy for the unruly horses and he was out of position, he was in front after 200m.
Blair Orange then handed up to Doff Your Cap and with Robbie Close intent on maintaining a strong pace and making things as hard as possible on the backmarkers, and Heavyweight Hero in particular, Majestic Hurricane actually settled nicely in the trail for a change.
Favoured Heavyweight Hero had been patiently handled by Bob Butt three back in the running line, and when he made his run on the home turn and chimed in at the furlong, he appeared to have them covered.
He had the lead at the 100m but then the effort began to take its toll – he recorded 3.16 from 30m in the 2600m stand – and Majestic Hurricane was the stronger horse over the closing stages off the perfect trip from Orange.
In such a strongly run race, there was also much to like about the lightly-raced four-year-olds The Player and Doff Your Cap finishing close up, particularly the former in his first race since October.
Majestic Hurricane was usually racing against the best of his age group at two and three, when he went winless in 15 races almost entirely from mobiles.
He earned less than $20,000 in those two seasons despite being good enough to finish fourth in the NZ Trotting Derby from the unruly, when Luby Lou trotted 3.14 in what was her last race.
He was also twice second to Winterfell that season.
Majestic Hurricane has won five races since and four of them have been stands where he has beaten Kings Landing, Lotamuscle, Didjabringthebeersand now Heavyweight Hero.
And he has twice recorded back to back wins, all of which augurs rather well as Majestic Hurricane heads into this week’s 4&5YO Trotting Championship. – by Frank Marrion