Winning reward for consistent pacer
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
The Maroon Marauder has been knocking on the door for some time and his perseverance was finally rewarded at Methven on Sunday.
The eight-year-old gelding had placed in six of his previous eight starts this preparation and his connections were delighted to score an elusive win in the Papanui Club Handicap Pace (2400m).
The Maroon Marauder began well from his 10m handicap and driver Kimberly Butt was able to secure the parked position with her charge before handing up to Jimmy Cannon with a lap to go.
Butt asked The Maroon Marauder to improve three-wide turning for home and he steadily made ground to capture the lead with 200m to go and went on to record a three-quarter of a length victory over Skippys Delight, with a further 1-1/4 length back to Iknow in third.
Trainer Brad Mowbray was pleased to finally get a winning result with The Maroon Marauder this preparation.
“It was a good reward for his consistency,” Mowbray said. “He wasn’t far off winning one and now he has finally got one.
“They have been good, honest runs every week. He starts good from the stand and never puts in a bad one, so I love it when those horses win. They thoroughly deserve it.”
Mowbray was also happy with a change in scenery with the season’s first grass meeting at Methven, although he doesn’t believe that was a major contributing factor to his gelding’s victory.
“It’s always good to have a nice day out from the city.” Mowbray said. “It’s a bit of a shame they couldn’t get the crowd that they would have loved to have had (as a result of COVID-19 alert level 2 restrictions), but it’s good to get out and about again.
“I don’t think he prefers one (track surface) over the other. It was just a well handicapped race and he was always going to be one of the better ones in it.
“With his good beginnings he can make up ground pretty quickly.”
Mowbray is now looking towards some cups targets with The Maroon Marauder.
“He will just potter around now and I would like to get him to a country cup at some point,” he said.
“I think he is good enough to win one of those races if he gets the right trip.”