Day At The Track

Maczaffair ready to bounce back

05:55 PM 28 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Maczaffair, harness racing
Gloucester Park Photo

Classy New Zealand-bred mare Maczaffair, surprisingly beaten as a 5/2 on favourite by Dior Mia More two Fridays ago, is poised to make amends and return to the winning list by proving too speedy for her seven harness racing rivals in the $25,000 final of the Coulson Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Her prospects improved greatly when she drew the favourable No. 2 barrier and Shannon Suvaljko is certain to make full use of her sparkling gate speed in a concerted bid to set the pace.

She started out wide at barrier eight in a qualifying heat at her latest appearance and raced three wide for much of the first lap before racing without cover. She fought on doggedly to finish a 2m second to the pacemaker Dior Mia More, who sprinted over the final quarters in 27.4sec. and 28.4sec.

Maczaffair, prepared by astute Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed, gave a superb performance as a 90/1 outsider at her previous outing when she began brilliantly from barrier six and led for the first 450m before sitting behind the pacemaker and 10/1 favourite Ultimate Machete. She ran home in grand style to finish second to Ultimate Machete.

The Mach Three mare has been a wonderful performer for owners Albert and Julie Walmsley and looks set to improve on her already impressive record of 13 wins, seven seconds and two thirds from 31 starts for stakes of $301,668.

Dior Mia More, prepared by Annie Belton, followed her victory over Maczaffair with a shock defeat at 25/1 on last Friday night when she set the pace and weakened to finish third behind Khun Ratha and Glow Bright over 2130m. She will be tested from barrier six this week.

Mon Lillies is racing enthusiastically and has explosive gate speed but from the No. 3 barrier, it is problematic whether she will be able to cross Maczaffair and take the early lead.                

Auctioneers Elsu, a hardy eight-year-old, has sound place prospects from the No. 1 barrier. A winner at 18 of her 189 starts, Auctioneers Elsu rarely performs below par for Cardup trainer Sarah Suvaljko, and Jocelyn Young should give her a favourable passage behind the pacemaker.

Gotta Go Gabbana, a stablemate of Dior Mia More, is in good form, with her five starts in her current preparation producing two wins and two seconds. She will start from the No. 5 barrier and will again have the services of in-former reinsman Chris Voak.

The Matt Scott-trained C C Chevron was an all-the-way winner from barrier one when she beat Gotta Go Gabbana and Mon Lillies last Friday night. But she faces a far tougher task this week from the No. 7 barrier.

Ken Casellas

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