Day At The Track

Major chance knocks for Damian and Parkers

11:59 PM 14 Nov 2020 NZDT
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Major Moth, Harness racing
Major Moth
Stuart McCormick photo

Damian Wilson is daring to dream of delivering loyal supporters, owner-breeders Len and Irene Parker, with a TAB Breeders Crown after winning impressively with Major Moth in tonight’s first VHRC Caduceus two-year-old colts and geldings’ semi-final.

Wilson had to roll through plans A, B and C in the run but ultimately pulled the right rein to see his Art Major colt emerge victorious for trainer Clayton Tonkin.

“It was a very tricky draw tonight,” he told Trots Vision, having started in gate eight behind Sayitaintso Joe. “It was hard to work out what was going to happen in the run and what everyone thought would happen was totally opposite to what did happen.

“I was (originally) happy just to drive him quiet, hit the line and qualify for the final tonight, but after being four back the fence everything changed. Just one of those things.”

As he described, Major Moth was buried deep on the pegs in the first 100 metres, prompting Wilson to move into the running line and then follow up the three-wide train for the last lap.

The race changed complexion when leader and favourite Beyond Delight suddenly dropped out, but Major Moth plowed on, tracking up One Two Many and then running past leader Bar Room Banta to salute by 8.5 metres.

“He proved (he’s a contender) tonight and last week,” Wilson said. “(Last week) he probably went as quick a lead time as anything and got home in 26.8. Not many horses can do that. He’s definitely a chance."

And it paints the prospect of rewarding a long-time backer.

“I’ve known Lenny (Parker) for probably 10 or 12 years. He always sticks behind me. I might put a bad one in, but he’s always got my back. He’s a good bloke," Wilson said.

“(Breeders Crowns) don’t come around very often and I’ve got the chance this year, so let’s hope I can make the most of it.”

His main threat may well come from Emma Stewart’s Act Now, who found the front from gate three in the second semi-final and led all-the-way to win by three metres.

On an eventful night it was a rather uncomplicated race for reinswoman Jodi Quinlan and owner-breeders Bruce and Vicki Edward.

“He’s really in his element when he can lead and just bowl along,” Quinlan told Trots Vision.

“He likes to bowl along at a nice rate. He foxes a little bit, when they come up outside of him he feels enormous, and then when they drop off a bit he drops off a bit with them. He does wait for them a little bit, but when he goes, he goes all right.”

Their real test came at the top of the straight when Kerryn Manning emerged off the leader’s back to make a play for the win on Watts Up Sunshine, but Act Now had all the answers and was able to hold the Rickie Alchin runner’s challenge at bay.

“When Kerryn came to the outside of him I had to shake him up a little bit, but he’s one of those – when they get to his wheel he just plods along at his own tempo.”

Joining Act Now and Watts Up Sunshine in advancing to the final from the second semi-final were Jacks Hawk, Go Dancing, Tuppence and Electric Eye.

They will be joined by first semi-final qualifiers Major Moth, Kimble, Swayzee, Bar Room Banta, One Two Many and Drain The Swamp.

 

HRV - Michael Howard

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