Day At The Track

Kelly gets her first winner

09:00 PM 10 Aug 2019 NZST
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Majestic Rose,Harness racing
Majestic Rose after winning at Gore
Bruce Stewart photo

Majestic Rose provided Hilderthorpe trainer Kerry Kelly with her first winner.

The Majestic Son mare was having her twenty fourth start today and her second for this season.

She was four wide going into the first turn before driver Mathew Williamson took her to the lead. She then handed up to Barham Belle. Williamson took the passing lane when the field turned in and held on to beat a late run from Justan’s Sister. She took the race by a neck.

Kelly who first had a license in 1984, bought Majestic Rose from the yearling sales in 2016 for $8,000.

“She was my first purchase at the yearling sales and I have no idea why I bought her. I just liked her,” she said.

 “I’ve dabbled with horses for donkeys years but we had a house fire and had four young kids so we put the horses on the back burner. Because my husband (Bruce) is now retired we decided to go for it again. We enjoy it.”

In the 1980s Kelly worked for Ray Wilkie and Ron Carter at Forbury Park and later for Oamaru trainer Clarrie Woodward.

One of her first horses was Casey’s Chance (Jack Chance – Casey Girl). From seventeen starts his best placing was third at Forbury Park in April 1985 when driven by junior driver Ray Faithful.

“He (Casey’s Chance) had accidents and only had one good leg.”

Majestic Rose’s dam Duchess won once and is out of Sunvette which left the handy trotter Mountbatten – the winner of eight races.

 Kelly says Majestic Rose is a flighty mare who has a few tricks.

“That’s why I like to stick with one driver. She’s a bit of a problem child at times and you have to be careful when you’re shoeing her. Her favourite trick is rearing up in the air, slamming down on the over check snapping the middle of the harness. She also likes to swing sideways. That’s why she’s got full winkers and a hood on.”

Majestic Rose (8) beating Justan's Sister (6)           - Photo Bruce Stewart 

Kelly says the mare likes to keep moving while around at the start.

“If you stand her still you’re asking for big problems. Any time the starter says ‘right’ or blows his whistle she’ll go in the air.”

Kelly currently has five horses in work including Iron Woman which ran seventh today.

She’s worked for most of her life on dairy farms while husband Bruce has been a chef.

They jog their horses on a small clay track and float them to the Oamaru track which is only 1.5 k’s away for fast work.


Bruce Stewart

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