Day At The Track

"Major" bounces back in $100,000 Messenger

09:53 PM 24 Apr 2015 NZST
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Sky Major returns to a big reception
Sky Major returns to a big reception
Sky Major

A lot of harness racing pundits (us included) had doubts about the ability of Sky Major to bounce back from an horrendous overland trip in the Taylor Mile last week and come from the outside of the second line to beat the great field assembled for the $100,000 New Zealand Messenger.

But as horses with that touch of real class can do, Sky Major produced probably his best run at Alexandra Park to run  over the top of them late and snatch the win right on the line.

As expected hot favourite Ohoka Punter with Tony Herlihy in the bike easily led from barrier one from Tiger Tara and Mossdale Conner  challenging for the lead with Beyond The Silence in the trail.

Mossdale Conner settled in the parked out position while Tiger Tara and Gerard O'Reilly snuck into three back on the inner.

Sky Major with Zac Butcher in the bike had settled back in the running line but when horses made their moves three wide, he progressed to be three back in the running line.

The field pretty much stayed in that order until 1100 metres from home when Australian visitor Messini went round three wide but couldn't get into the parked position and was left out there for the rest of the race.

As they turned for home Ohoka Punter looked all over the winner, but first Tiger Tara burst along the passing lane to claim him and he was quickly joined out wide by a flying Sky Major who had got a lovely drag into the race on the corner.

At the finishing line there was only a nose in it but Sky Major had got there by half a head and in the process confirmed himself as a starter in this years Harness Jewels.

Tiger Tara was very game in second having been involved in the early burn while Ohoka Punter was slightly disappointing in running third after getting his own rules in front.

Sky Major paced the 2700 metres in 3:15.6, a mile rate of 1:56.5 with closing sectionals of 56.9 and 27.8.

The time was a new race record, taking two tenths of a second off the old race record held by Tintin In America

Zac Butcher was thrilled to have won another race for his boss Barry Purdon.  

" Barry is just a master at setting horses for these Group 1 races."

" This horse was all out last week but he has got him here tonight in great order."

" The horse has gone super but it wasn't until the last 50 metres that I thought we may get up."

" I am absolutely thrilled," Zac said.  

With that win under his belt, Sky Major will now head to the Harness Jewels where he is a major chance to become the first horse to win three Harness Jewels crowns.

Harnesslink Media  

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