New Zealand Record to Pretty Majestic sets up a great night for Diamond Racing
It was expected to be a big night for the team last night with lots of great chances in both islands. The stable runners did not disappoint producing the four wins and a further two placings. It is hard to single out one winning performance, but the effort of Pretty Majestic in slashing a New Zealand Record that had stood for 23 years is particularly noteworthy.
Driven last night by John, Pretty Majestic faced up to a field of ten starters in the Group Three Northern Trotting Stakes for the fillies and mares. She stepped safely from her 30m handicap and was within ten lengths of leader Monkey Selfie with two laps to go, following a co-backmarker in Kenny's Dream.
The tempo was kept strong by Monkey Selfie throughout, as she endeavoured to make the backmarkers work for the win. A lap out and the field had started to compress, Pretty Majestic had slotted into a lovely spot three back the outer, still on the back of Kenny's Dream. She looked to be travelling a treat. The action really started to heat up from the 400m, as breeze horse She Reigns really put it to Monkey Selfie. John launched his mare three and four wide at this point, looking to get the momentum over Kenny's Dream, still one-one. Turning in and Pretty Majestic quickly swept to the top with a winning run, holding strong over a late swooper in Molly Bones, with Kenny's Dream close up in third.
Last night's win takes Pretty Majestic's NZ Record to four wins from just her seven starts, with a couple of placings to boot. Importantly though, her winning time of 3.23.9 eclipsed 0.8 seconds off a 23 year old NZ Record for the 2700m stand, formerly held by champion mare Pride of Petite. She was just 0.3 seconds off the NZ Allcomers Record held by another champion trotter in I Can Doosit. She is doing a superb job for Yabby Dam Racing and connections must now confidently target upcoming northern features such as the Rowe Cup.
Pretty Majestic was superb in the Group Three for the mares
Two races later and two year old filly Passion And Power stepped out, looking to achieve a hat-trick of winning performances from just three times to the races and she did not disappoint.
Good off the gate, Passion And Power assumed the early lead after 200m, with second favourite Sky Delight taking the trail. She also looked to travel well for John, not really facing any real pressure out in front. Able to get away with a 29.5 second quarter down the back, John had a handful of the Art Major filly at the 400m. Let rip from the 400m, Passion And Power careered away as she had done in her previous wins, a 26.8 final quarter able to see her home a three and a half length winner.
It is no surprise to sense the excitement in the stable with this filly. The same certainly applies to her part owners Alan and Ian Neumann who are having a hell of a ride with their runners at present. The win of Passion And Power was the third for those two great men on the night, after the earlier wins at Addington of exciting three year olds in Tyron's Bit Of Lemon and Heroes Square.
Next up for the filly will be the Group Two Delightful Lady Classic next Friday.
Passion And Power makes it a perfect three from three winning last night's Young Guns Heat.
Down south it was Tim Williams deputising for John, that did a fantastic job piloting Tyron's Bit Of Lemon and Heroes Square that completed a hat-trick of wins for the Neumanns.
Sportwriter three year old Tyron's Bit Of Lemon had little luck first up at Addington a fortnight ago. However, on this occasion and from a better draw, he was driven confidently off the gate to assume the early lead. Following a strong lead time of 24.2, he was then able to back off with a 31.3 first quarter of the last mile, before again pouring on the pressure with a 30.2 quarter second quarter. A 27.8 quarter off the back had most gasping and Tyron's Bit Of Lemon was able to round out the race under his own steam, running away by five and a half lengths at the line.
While the class of field was moderate, the margin and times - 1.55.8 Mile Rate, 2.22.6 for the 1980m, suggest this is a horse with a fair sort of future ahead.
Tyron's Bit Of Lemon was a smart winner in a 1.55.8 Mile Rate over the 1980m
The other winner for the Neumanns was last week's impressive debutante in Heroes Square. Facing a decent leap in company on this occasion, he was again good off the gate from his inside barrier, easily holding an early lead. Briefly looked at by Im A Gigolo at the 1700m, Heroes Square controlled the pace with a solid lead time of 24.7. He then continued to set up strong terms with a 29.4 second, first quarter of the last mile. Able to back off in the second quarter, he was still full of running as second favourite Minstrel loomed large from the 600m. Given rein from the 400m, he immediately found a couple of lengths, but was a bit wayward around the last bend, veering off the inside turning in. While the challenges closed to within a half length at the 100m, there was always the feeling that he had a little bit left in the tank, lifting over the closing stages to hold off an impressive late finisher in Steel The Show.
Heroes Square backed up last week's impressive Mile Rate, with an even more impressive 1.55.3 this week, the full 1980m run in 2.22.0. So impressive has he been in his two race starts that remarkably he is now rated as a $6 chance for the New Zealand Derby.
Heroes Square comes into NZ Derby considerations after making it two from two at Addington last night.
Of our other runners last evening the two notable runs were those of Pres Da Belle at Addington and Resonate at Auckland.
Pres Da Belle - was able to lead from her wide gate and as at her previous start, kept them running for Gavin Smith. She looked the winner as she kicked clear by two lengths at the 200m, but was gunned down late in affairs by Splash Cola (three back) and Heavyweight Hero (trail). She continues to race in super form.
Resonate - was on his best manners last night, stepping well, before working to the lead at the 1500m. He travelled really well out in front all of the way and when he found a kick turning in, he did look the winner. However, after wobbling out to the middle of the track at the 150m, it was second favourite Kay Cee that came hard up the passing lane to head Resonate at the 50m. Under pressure he galloped short of the line but was eight and a half lengths clear of the third placed runner in Recycle.
Posted: Sat 29 Feb 2020