Winter Cup triple threat for Wallis-Hackett
By Joshua Smith, Harness News Desk
Trainers Michelle Wallis and Bernie Hackett hold a strong hand in the IRT – Your Horse Our Passion 2022 Winter Cup (2700m) at Alexandra Park on Friday night, with half of the field set to carry their silks.
The South Auckland couple will be represented by Special Way (15m), Kings Landing (35m) and Invictus (45m), and they believe the trio has a strong chance of bringing home the spoils.
“Special Way has a bit of a handicap advantage over the other two, so I think he will be hard to beat,” Michelle Wallis said.
“Kings Landing has also been going well, he is just getting back a bit in the handicaps and he is not the quickest away.
“It is only a small field so a lot will depend on what they do up front. He is a nice horse, he will be thereabouts.
“Invictus is an honest little fella. He is probably better suited to the 2200m, but he has had a few placings over 2700m. He will catch them up pretty quickly, and it all depends on how handy he can be turning for home.”
While Wallis is looking forward to Friday’s trotting feature, it is a race earlier on the card that could have plenty more excitement for her barn.
Six juveniles will make their debut in the HR Fisken & Sons 2YO Mobile Trot (1700m), and Wallis said they will learn a bit more about each of their trotters after the race.
“We have thrown them in the deep end a little bit. It was supposed to be a $2,000 non-tote race, and they obviously needed the field and another tote race,” she said.
“They are all pretty inexperienced and anything can happen.
“I would say Aldebaran Pipi and Melsadele are a little bit more forward than the others, but they all go nice.
“Aradne had a gallop in the trials so I thought I would just drive her and see what she is doing.”
Meanwhile, Wallis and Hackett also have a strong representation in the Lone Star Alexandra Park Handicap Trot, including The Governator, Drum N Bass, Emma Frost, and Aldebaran Flame.
“Emma Frost just hasn’t been racing to her true form of late. I am hoping she will turn that around very soon,” Wallis said.
“The Governator is a good chance in that, but if she can bring her manners Aldebaran Flame has been working really well.
“We have just chucked the half hopples on her just to see if we can get her away quicker. If she is handy she can sprint home really nicely.”