and Bernie Hackett take a bow – a very big bow. The Waiuku husband and wife duo pulled off one of the best training feats of 2013 at last Friday night (August 16).
The Franklin couple won their first race of the 2013-2014 after bringing their stable star - Harry Johnson - back from a serious suspensory image suffered in his last trotting event, also at Alexandra Park, on September 2, 2011.
Remarkably the 7-year-old son ofhas now won all five of his starts for Hackett and Wallis after previously placing twice from four starts for and Prop Anderson.
“We’ve obviously had to take our time with him. He’s done the miles now and even though he’s not a good track worker he’s certainly the goods out on the track.
“Delft would be the best trotter we have trained and even though this fella has got some way to achieve what Delft did, he’s on the right track. Michelle and I rate him highly and think he can get to open class alright,” Hackett stated
Harry Johnson was the second favourite of 12 in Friday’s Brooks Bulk Haulage 3-plus win $8,000 Trot.
He and(MNZM) started from the 10m handicap and they were fifth and on the one-one with two laps remaining. They remained in that position until 'The Iceman' asked him to lift at the 400m.
In the home straight Herlihy let the 7-year-old have his head and they simply cruised past their opponents to win easily by 1-1/4 lengths and a neck. Charlemagne (Phil Butcher) and Phoebe Revival (Nicky Chilcott) filled the minors.
Winner’s time for the 2700m stand: 3:30.8. Mile rate: 2:05.6. Last 800m: 59.5. Last 400m: 30.5.
“It was a superb drive wasn’t it? Harry makes our job really worthwhile,” said Hackett who works a team of 13 at Karioitahi Beach just west of Waiuku.
“We would love a few more horses though. A few more in the barn would be just what the doctor ordered,” he added.
Harry Johnson was bred by his owner Ross Johnson. His partner Janine Cole and parents C.C. (Colin) and Mrs M.F. Johnson also have shares in him.
“Ross and Janine have two daughters and I think Harry is the son they never had. I think that’s how he got his name anyway,” Hackett said.
Harry Johnson is the eighth foal of 12 foal out of the above average 10-win ($138,660)mare, Inda Bank.
He is her most successful foal. Next best is his full brother, the late No No Yankee. He won three of his five starts for Butt and Anderson before dying in April last year.
Hackett said ‘Harry’ would continue to race throughout the winter.
“This was a just a stepping stone because he only had two workouts coming into the race. He will tighten up for sure,” said Hackett.
Long-term Hackett and Wallis would dearly love to win a Rowe Cup – and the way ‘Harry’ is stringing them together that could be less than a year away.
“You never know with this fella because when he broke down a couple of years ago, we thought that might be that. But he’s so strong and tough. I think there’s a few more wins left in him,” Hackett said.
By Duane Ranger
Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand