Day At The Track

Magna displays a touch of class

09:46 AM 30 Dec 2014 NZDT
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Magna - Hardly seen a cart in training this time in
Magna - Hardly seen a cart in training this time in

On one hand, James Geddes was a little surprised at the manner in which Magna was able to win yesterday's Xmas Cup at yesterdays harness racing meeting at Motukarara, but then on the other hand he wasn't.

If you're confused by that, don't be. It's just the way the smart pacing mare is.

Fresh up since May, she sat three wide outside Backup for most of the last 1000 metres and instead of reaching for the oxygen tanks half way down the testing Motukarara straight she found another gear and kept fighting strongly to the line to win in emphatic fashion.

And while her $20 tote price would reflect that her chances didn't appear all that strong, she turned in a performance more worthy of a horse paying single figures.

"She's always been a tough mare,'' Geddes, who trains in partnership with his father Jim, said.

"I thought she would go a good race, but I guess you have to be a little bit surprised at the way she did it.''

Unsighted since running fourth to Isaiah at Addington at the start of May, Geddes said it's been a healthy diet of swimming for the daughter of American Ideal.

"She's hardly been in the cart, it's just been swimming and more swimming for her.

"To be honest she's probably only on three legs, and she didn't feel all that comfortable out there.''

Motukarara has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Magna having registered two wins, a second and two thirds on the surface.

Geddes was quick to pay credit to his father, who he said has been instrumental.

"I'm just wrapt for Dad, he's done all the work with her so a lot of the credit must be given to him.''

Ther father and son partnership have made a good start to the season with Dixie Commando also winning this month.

Earlier in the day, the class act of yesterday's meeting, Joanne's A Delight, made light work of her resumption.

The Nigel McGrath trained filly didn't feel all that happy on the grass track surface and her trainer has no intention on starting her on the green stuff again.

"She didn't like it all, I thought we were in trouble for a while,'' McGrath said.

"Class got her through in the end.''

The main early target for the smart filly is the Sales Series race at Addington at the end of next month.

McGrath, along with the filly's American owners Gordon Banks and Mark Hanover, opted to miss the three-year-old features at Alexandra Park with an idea of being on the fresh side for Addington.

"They are running some serious times up there so some of them are going to be coming down a bit tired.

"We will look to have one more run before the Sales Series.''

Courtesy of Matt Markham - Harness Racing New Zealand




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