Wallis-Hackett go two from two

By Brigette Solomon

The Waiuku based training partnership of Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett were batting 1000 at Cambridge last night, with two winners from two starters.

Both Auctioneer and Aldebaran Crystal had their first wins.

The partnership predominantly train trotters and their first winner of the night, Auctioneer, was bred to do just that being by Orlando Vici and out of the Sundon mare Nia. But it was race three, the Watchu Your Security Systems Partners in NZ Mobile Pace, where Auctioneer scored his maiden victory at just his fourth race day start.

“He missed qualifying as a trotter as he’d switch to a pace when running a fast quarter,” says Hackett “so we decided we’d put the hopples on him and he qualified as a pacer no trouble and looks like he’ll win a couple pacing before we convert him back to trotting.”

Driven by Todd Mitchell, the three-year-old gelding settled back in the field in the one wide line before making a run with 600 metres to travel. Once he was off and rolling Mitchell had to take the gelding wide to get around runners and he proved too tough hitting the front at the 100 metre mark and holding off the fast finishing second placed Predator.

“It was a good win and a first winner for a few of his owners who were all there on course and pretty chuffed with the result,” said Hackett.

By Father Patrick and out of the Group One winning mare Superbowlcheerleader, Aldebaran Crystal, who was also driven by Hackett, was then successful in race eight, the IRT.Your Horse. Our Passion Trot over 2200 metres.

“She finally brought her A game tonight,” said Hackett, “she travelled well and got everything right, it’s probably the best she’s raced.”

The four-year-old mare started off the unruly and remained wide while mustering speed and eventually finding the trail behind Rise To The Occasion. With 400 metres to travel Hackett moved out to sit alongside the leader before edging past in the final stages to win by 0.75 lengths.

“We’ll carry on racing her and no doubt she’ll continue to improve,” said Hackett.

The Gavelhouse.com New Zealand Amateur Driving Championships head to Addington tonight (Friday), with Cheree Wigg taking out the first heat at Cambridge last night with the Jay Abernethy-trained Midfrew Lucre.

She'll drive the favourite at 5.07pm as well in the form of Sargent Best.

The championships finish up at Addington on Sunday, with Wigg already confirmed as New Zealand's representative at the world championships in Finland later in the year.

Points (after first round) :

Cheree Wigg 7
Michael House 5
Warren Rich 4
Andrew Sharpe 3
John Kriechbaumer 2
Colleen Negus 1
Alan Edge 0
Craig Sharpe 0
Michelle Northcott 0
Warren Frost 0

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