Day At The Track

Major Trojan delivers 5th Derby for Halls

08:49 PM 06 Apr 2019 NZDT
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Major Trojan delivers 5th Derby for Halls,Harness racing
RWWA

The 2019 WA Derby was built up as one of the strongest ever.

It ended as a precession, as Major Trojan delivered reinsman Gary Hall Jnr and trainer Gary Hall Snr a fifth win in the $200,000 feature at Gloucester Park.

The Group 1 event started in eventful circumstances as likely pacemaker and the well backed Its Rock And Roll had to be retired from the race when reinsman Colin Brown’s sulky got a flat tyre.

It allowed Franco Edward to run to the lead and Major Trojan settled behind him when Hall Jnr elected against pressing on to the front.

Hall Jnr had to be patient on the final lap as he sought clear running room, but on the turn for home he was able to get off the pegs and was poised for his run.

The Art Major colt then stormed away over the closing stages to record a seemingly effortless 4.7m win to Bletchley Park, who narrowly beat Franco Edward for second place.

Eloquent Mach, who won the main Derby lead up the Western Gateway a fortnight ago, was well beaten.

Hall Jnr, who won the WA Derby previously with Alta Christiano (2013), Beaudiene Boaz (2015), Chicago Bull (2016) and King Of Swing (2018), said his fifth win in the time honoured event was the pick of them.

“It’s a special one because you put your neck on the line with those sort of horses when you pay that money for them,” Hall Jnr told RWWA Harness.

“I know Snr feels the pressure a lot more than me.

“Sometimes you scratch your head when you pay the big money for them, but he was super tonight.

“He’s still got room for improvement.”

Major Trojan will now be aimed towards the Golden Nugget in December.

The Derby win started a run of four straight winners on the night for Hall Jnr, who teamed up with Liberty Rose, Dracarys and Whozideawasthis in the following three races.

Liberty Rose’s win in the In Appreciation Of Dr Tom Rieusset Pace (2536m) ended a frustrating run of outs for the mare.

Hall Jnr said Liberty Rose deserved the breakthrough win and felt she may be a better horse when she didn’t lead.

“We’ve not found any issues with her,” he said.

“I was disappointed in a few of those races.

“Some horses don’t like leading and I thought it would’ve suited her from what we saw as a three-year-old.

“Maybe she likes being tucked away.”

Dracarys showed why she would be the one to beat in next month’s WA Oaks, with a dominant win in the Oaks Prelude.

Whozideawasthis then completed the stunning run of success for Hall Jnr, when he took out the Free-For-All event of the evening.

The eight-year-old gelding won at Free-For-All level two starts back and continued the excellent form last night by upstaging the short-price favourite Handsandwheels.

Hall Snr also had Tact Major win last night at just his second start back since November 2017.

In a further boost for the stable, Hall Snr said Chicago Bull was a month away from making his return to the races.

Tim Walker

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