South Auckland trotter Pretty Majestic continued her impressive run of form when winning the Waikato Trotting Breeders’ Stakes (2700m) at Cambridge on Friday night.
Owned by Yabby Dam Farm principal Pat Driscoll, Pretty Majestic was sent over to Robert Dunn’s Pukekohe barn to cater for the five-year-old mare’s preference for right-handed tracks.
“She came over from Australia and the reason that Pat Driscoll sent her over to us was because Anton Golino, her trainer, felt she was better the Auckland way around and that seemed to be the case,” Dunn said.
“We were a little bit cautious heading into that race on Friday with her because we had trained her at Pukekohe left-handed and she definitely wasn’t as good.
“We thought if she goes like she has been racing and we get a little money in the first four we would be pretty happy.”
Pretty Majestic was slow to begin from her back mark of 50m and spent the majority of the race towards the back of the field. However, she showed her brilliance when being asked to improve five-wide at the turn and stormed home late to run down pacemaker Monkey Selfie to win by half a length.
“She wasn’t getting the bends brilliantly on Friday night and she had excuses to break, but she didn’t want to,” Dunn said.
“When Peter (Ferguson, driver) pulled her out four and five-wide on the turn she was fantastic.
“We knew she wasn’t as good left-handed, so to win it was an exceptional performance.”
The victory took Pretty Majestic’s New Zealand tally to three wins and two placings from six starts.
A Group One winner at three, Dunn believes she has the ability to add another victory at elite-level to her tally in the coming months.
“The way she is going we’ll start targeting the bigger races,” he said. “She won the Victoria Oaks (Gr.1, 2240m) when she was three and then they had a few issues with her when she was four. They felt she was better right-handed, hence why they sent her over to us.
“She has got a good attitude and a real will to win, so I think she has got a big future still. We will target the Rowe Cup (Gr.1, 3200m) with her and races like the Greenlane Cup (Gr.3, 2700m) and ANZAC Cup (Gr.1, 2200m).
“I think she is up to that grade from what she has shown us so far.”
Dunn was delighted to win the inaugural running of the Waikato Breeding Stakes and believes the race, which was established by a group of Waikato trotting enthusiasts led by owner-breeder Ken McGrath and his partner Melanie Barker, has a big future.
“I am very impressed by everyone concerned - the club, the sponsors, and the committee who created a race that will definitely get better as time goes on,” he said.
“People from down south will want to bring their mares up to have a crack at it. Races for trotting mares are few and far between, there are not enough of them.
“That is something that we have got to improve on in New Zealand otherwise we will start losing all of our good horses.
“It’s early days yet, but I think the potential is there to take this race a long way further.”
While Dunn has his sights set on Group One targets in the coming months with Pretty Majestic, he is already looking forward to trying to defend her crown in the Waikato Breeding Stakes next year.
“She will be around next year, so we will be back to target this race again,” he said. – Cambridge Raceway