Day At The Track

Bagrie hat-trick at Addington

12:00 PM 21 Sep 2019 NZST
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The Bagries,Harness racing

by Jonny Turner

Team Bagrie will complete a perfect week if Belmont Major is able to salute at Ascot Park on Saturday.

Father and son trainers Peter and Tom Bagrie had their best night at the races when they produced the winners of the first three races at Addington on Thursday.

Tom started their winning run when The Governor took out race 1 and Eye Of The Tiger won race 2.

Peter kept up the Bagries’ good form when producing The General to win race 3.

 “It was our best night at the races by far, it all came together and the stars aligned,” Tom said.

Tom helped reward his former school mate, Hoani Matenga, for his patience when Eye Of The Tiger scored her maiden victory.

The Bay Of Plenty Steamers rugby player and former bassist for the band Six60 bought in to the mare when she was a yearling.

And he has had to wait until she was 5yrs-old to see her in the winner’s circle.

“He came down to the races one night, it must have been four years ago now, and he ended up buying a share in her after the sales,” Bagrie said.

“It is his first ever horse and he has been patient and he was rapt to get the job done.”

Eye Of The Tiger has been limited to just three career starts because of weakness.

“She has just been a bit weak in behind,” Bagrie said.

“She's always had a lot of speed.”

“They always say trotters need a few miles and a bit of time.”

“She was a cheapie we got from the sales and because we have got a farm it was pretty easy to leave her in a paddock for a long period of time just to let her mature.”

Patience was also rewarded when The Governor won his first race since January of 2017 when he scored in amateur drivers company for Sheldon Murtha.

The pacer broke a pedal bone after winning twice and placing three times in five starts as a 3yr-old.

The Governor had initially raced consistently after his return, but he had not shown much enthusiasm for racing, recently.

So, Bagrie started mixing his work up.

“His drivers would comment and say sort of felt alright, but they asked him for something he didn't have much more,” the trainer said.

“He just keep plugging on.”

“We've just done a few things differently with this training and he seems to be enjoying it.”

“He’s been a bit of a heat scratcher, really, because he has a lot of ability.”

“We thought a lot of them until he broke down as a three year old.”

More patience was rewarded when The General completed the Bagrie hat-trick at Addington.

Peter waited until the half brother to Bettor Heart was a 4yr-old to step him at the races and the trainer was instantly rewarded when The General scored in a 2600m maiden event.

Progressive 3yr-old Belmont Major could complete a perfect week for Team Bagrie if he can win for Tom at Ascot Park.

The pacer should be very hard to beat if he is able to step away in his first standing start attempt in the rating 40-55 event.

“The stand is a bit of a question mark, I suppose, but he has been good at the trials and he seems good at home,” Tom said.    

“I am expecting him to go pretty good.”

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