Major setback for Montana

08:39 PM 30 Apr 2014 NZST
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Darell Graham.png
Darrell Graham - trainer of Major Montana

The season for promising rookie pacer Major Montana is over.

A tendon injury to his nearside front tendon has forced to strapping son of Art Major to the spelling paddock for a lengthy break leaving his trainer/driver Darrel Graham gutted.

The Dean Shannon owned and bred gelding is unbeaten in Queensland winning both the Paleface Adios Classic and the Brisbane heat of the Australian Pacing Gold for two-year-old colts and geldings at Albion Park.

His early education and racing was carried out in New South Wales with respected horseman Mick Formosa which netted two unplaced efforts at TABCORP Park, Menangle and Newcastle before being transferred back to Graham.

“It’s terribly disappointing because he was on a massive rise with his maturity and confidence. He was diagnosed with a slight strain but we have taken all precautions and carried out an operation where they fused his tendons.” Graham said.

Major Montana quickly established himself as the best rookie pacer in the sunshine state following his two brilliant victories at Albion Park where he handled the highly regarded Admiral Bronski on both occasions.

His latest victory was a dominant all the way victory in the APG heat on April 8 where he paced the 1660m event in a time of 1;56.5.

“He was staked for all the upcoming features right along the east coast but unfortunately, we won’t be in any of them now because of this setback.

“Both Dean and I were really looking forward to Australian Pacing Gold, Nursery Pace and QBRED features plus the Breeders Crown but we’ll wait for next season now. He’s a special horse because Dean bred him after racing his mum with me a few years back.

“Hopefully the time off will prove to be a blessing in disguise and he’ll come back better for it, I honestly believe he has the potential to be a very nice horse so time will tell.”

The setback for Major Montana proved to be a double blow for the stable with exciting three-year-old Mafuta Vautin also being hampered with a tendon injury.

The Rollon Bigred gelding has also been shut down for the remainder following his recent operation.

Mafuta Vautin has won six of his seven career starts to date including his latest at Albion Park on February 15 in 1;55.2.

By Chris Barsby (Courtesy of Harness Racing Australia)

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