Winning comeback after nearly three years for southern pacer

By Jonny Turner 

After more than two years and nine months away from racing, Major Sweetart made an epic return to racing at Ascot Park on Saturday.

The mare brushed aside the huge amount of recent racing her rivals had over her in grand style, as she led throughout to win for owners Bathan and Jane Muir, Ken and Jill Muir and Jennifer and Allison Clearwater.

Major Sweetart showed plenty of talent for trainer Craig Ferguson in her first racing campaign back in 2021, before injury put her on the sidelines. 

Making it back to the races was in the initial plans for the pacer, but along the way that plan looked in tatters. 

“She had fractures show up in her knees, so we put her aside and tried her again but she didn’t really come up,” Bathan Muir said.

“We put her to a stallion but she didn’t hold, then she was due to go back to the stud when Craig asked what we were doing with her.”
“He said he would be keen to have another shot with her.”
“Obviously if he saw enough in her to do that, we thought we would give it a go.”  

Muir was full of praise for Ferguson and his stable team for getting the previously retired Major Sweetart back to the track and into the winner’s circle.

“Craig and the entire team there have done a super job with her.”
“It has taken a while to bring her back up, she was out on our pasture for quite a long time.” 

Major Sweetart is the second foal from Curragh's Princess, who is compiling an outstanding record.

Her only other starter Street Art won five of his seven starts before his career was cut short with breathing issues.

Like her progeny on the track, Curragh’s Princess career has been stop-start, with only four foals on the ground and several missed opportunities along the way. 

Naturally, the Muirs will not be getting ahead of themselves following Major Sweetart’s grand return.

“When she won her first start we thought things were looking good,” Muir said.

“Then with Street Art we sort of had the same thing.”
“So you have got to take these wins when you can get them.”

Driver Mark Hurrell had Major Sweetart in front throughout from barrier 1.

And from there, defeat barely looked like a possibility. 

“She won very, very easy and hopefully she can carry on with it now,” the reinsman said.

Major Sweetart’s win continued the outstanding strike rate the Ferguson stable has produced this season.

The barn has produced 14 wins from 40 starts so far.  

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