Under the radar trotter wins at Geraldine

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Trainer-driver David McCormick was equal parts delighted and surprised by Maui's win in the Ecolab Handicap Trot at Geraldine on Saturday.

The five-year-old son of Peak was too good for his rivals on the grass at Orari, just a week after dead-heating for second at Methven behind runaway winner Oscar Bonavena.

"I was surprised that no-one was picking him - not one person picked him after that second to Oscar."

"I thought that was strange."

While the tipsters didn't have him in their selections Maui did have a fair bit of support from punters on Saturday. He was 4/4 in the betting and paid $8.80 for the win.

Initially Maui was slow away but McCormick managed to get three wide cover at a vital stage before going clear and then holding on to win by a neck from Cormoran Strike.

"I'd have to say it was one of my better drives," a clearly chuffed McCormick said, "everything fell into place."

It was the Ashburton-based McCormick's 30th win as a driver since his first in 1982.

Earlier Maui had caused a false start when he backed away, interfering with a trailing runner.

"He can be a a bit fractious sometimes," McCormick said, "but he is a nice horse and has a lot of speed."

At Methven on December 3 in the Dancinginthedark at Aldebaran Park Green Mile Maui was again a bit wayward.  He went back to second last before rushing home to finish second equal with Aveross Majesty, ten lengths behind Oscar Bonavena.

"Maui's run was huge at Methven," says McCormick.

Aveross Majesty went on to win the Dunedin Trotters Cup at Wingatui last Friday, with Maui winning at Geraldine the following day and Oscar Bonavena making it a hat trick of wins with his Group 1 victory in the Livamol New Zealand Trotting Free For All on Grand Prix day at Addington yesterday.

Maui's win, his ninth in 69 starts, took him over $100,000 in stakes.

He'll now head to Rangiora this Sunday before heading south to compete at Gore and then in Central Otago.

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